Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "Letter to Doctor A. Brigham, on animal magnetism : being an account of a remarkable interview between the author and Miss Loraina Brackett while in a state of somnambulism"

See other formats

t&KJL M/f^sr £. j 










There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. 




[Entered according to the Act of Congress of the United States of America, in 
the year 1837, by George Dearborn, in the Clerk's Office of the Southern 
District of New-York.] 



No. 38 Gold Street 



NEW-YORK, September 1, 1837. 

My Dear Sir, 

Understanding that you have recently witnessed 
many experiments, and even performed some your- 
self, illustrative of the powers of Animal Magnetism, 
and have become a believer in this new art, science, 
or imposture, I am exceedingly desirous of knowing 
what phenomena, seen by yourself, have served to 
convince you. 

Animal Magnetism has attracted the attention of 
many of the most scientific men in Europe, some of 
whom believe in the extraordinary power ascribed 
to it. That very remarkable effects may result from 
extreme sensibility, or disease of the nervous system, 
I can readily believe — we see such in Catalepsy, 
Somnambulism, &c. We read of such in every age. 
In every age great moral commotions, by affecting 
the organization of some very sensitive persons, have 
produced very singular physical and intellectual 
phenomena. The Trembleurs des Cevennes, and the 
Convulsionnaires de Saint Mtdard, are memorable in- 
stances. Many of the results attributed to Animal 
Magnetism may be accounted for, by supposing an 

unusual augmentation of sensibility, — but other phe- 
nomena ascribed to it cannot be thus explained, and 
an immensity of proof appears to me to be necessary, 
in order to establish things so extraordinary, and so 
contrary to the common sense and to the testimony 
of all times. 

The facts which have served to make you a be- 
liever in Animal Magnetism, must be curious and 
interesting, and when your leisure permits, I beg you 
will furnish them in detail, that others may know on 
what evidence one who has been charged with a 
lamentable want of credulity on some subjects, and 
who must be disinterested, has become convinced of 
the truth of these most incredible phenomena. 

Very respectfully your friend, 


William L. Stone, Esq. 


NEW-YORK, September 10, 1837. 
Dear Sir, 

Your favour of the first instant reached me several 
days since, and in so far as " a round unvarnished 
tale" will serve the purposes of your inquiry, I can 
have not the slightest objection to a compliance with 
your request. I can the more readily do this from 
the circumstance, that the greatest portion of the la- 
bor is already performed ; that is, if you refer, as I 
presume you do, to certain circumstances connected 
with Animal Magnetism, which transpired during a 

brief visit recently made by me to the city of Provi- 
dence. A full narration of that visit, so far as it was 
connected with the science of Animal Magnetism 
"falsely so called" — for I hold that nothing can 
rightly be regarded as a science which has not been 
reduced to fixed principles — was written immediate- 
ly after my return, while all the circumstances were 
fresh in my recollection ; and, in order to still greater 
accuracy, I have since made another flying visit to 
Rhode Island, and submitted the manuscript to seve- 
ral persons who were present at the time when the 
events related occurred. 

Before I proceed to the main design of the present 
communication however, allow me to correct a mis- 
apprehension into which, like many others of my 
friends, you have been betrayed by the loose reports 
of common fame. The inference from your letter is, 
that I have suddenly become a convert to Animal 
Magnetism, to the whole extent claimed and practis- 
ed by Frederick Anthony Mesmer, the founder of the 
art, and contended for by Wolfart and Kluge, and 
the other German and French enthusiasts, who have 
written in explanation and support of the system. 
This is an error. I am not a positive believer in the 
system, because I know not what to believe ; and 
yet, I am free to confess, that I have recently be- 
held phenomena, under circumstances where collu- 
sion, deception, fraud, and imposture, were alike out 
of the question, if not impossible, which have brought 
me from the position of a positive sceptic to a dead 
pause. From the evidence of my own senses, I have 

been compelled, if not to relinquish, at least very es- 
sentially to modify, my disbelief; and I can no longer 
deny, although I cannot explain, the extraordinary 
phenomena produced by the exertion of the mental 
energy of one person upon the mind of another, while 
in a state of what is termed magnetic slumber. Still, 
I pray you not to write me down as a believer in the 
charlatanerie of Mesmer and Deslon, or as a disciple 
of M. Poyen, or as an encourager of the other strol- 
ling dealers in somnambulism, who traverse the coun- 
try, exhibiting their " sleeping beauties," as lovers, 
not of science, but of gain. 

For many months past, in common with most read- 
ers, if not all, of the public journals, I had seen much 
upon the subject of Animal Magnetism, particularly 
in connexion with the names of Monsieur Poyen, and 
his pupil, Miss Gleason. The illustrations of M. 
Poyen, and the exploits of Miss Gleason wiiile un- 
der the magnetic influence imparted by him, had 
been standing themes of comment in the New Eng- 
land papers. I had seen that M. Poyen was favored 
by many believers, some of them, even, among the 
disciples of iEsculapius. There were others, laymen 
and members of the faculty, who doubted. Others, 
again, and probably far the largest class, were posi- 
tive sceptics. These were doing all in their power 
to discredit the professor, his science, and his patient, 
as well by argument as by the withering process of 
ridicule. Still, M. Poyen persisted in the illustrations 
of his favorite science, and I had noted that acces- 
sions to the number of believers in his svstem were 

occasionally gained, even from the ranks both of the 
learned and the wise. Educated, however, in the be- 
lief that Mesmer was an impostor, that his followers 
were enthusiasts, and his patients affected, if at all, 
only through the workings of their own imaginations, 
— and disliking, exceedingly, the public exhibitions 
he was making for money, — I was not only an un- 
believer, but a satirist of the whole affair. 

Not long afterward it was reported that the sys- 
tem of M. Poyen had not only been introduced into 
Providence, but that the illustrations exhibited there 
had made a deep impression upon some of the sound- 
est and best balanced minds in that city and its vi- 
cinity. The publications upon the subject assumed 
a grave character, and the names quoted as among 
those who, if not full believers in the science, had at 
least been brought to admit that there was some- 
thing mysterious in the developements daily making 
of the extent and power of the magnetic influence, 
both upon the bodies and minds of those who had 
been made subjects of it, caused me to pause, and 
question of myself " whereunto these things would 
grow." Still I was a pretty sturdy unbeliever. The 
early history of Animal Magnetism was familiar to 
me. I had read also of the Convulsionnaires de St. 
Mcdard, of which you have reminded me ; of the 
strange epidemic which set half the nuns in Chris- 
tendom simultaneously to mewing like cats and kit- 
tens in concert ; of the still stranger doings among 
various religionists in Kentucky, some thirty or forty 
years ago ; and of course I had not forgotten the 


melancholy delusion which once overspread New 
England in regard to witchcraft. My inclination, 
therefore, was to write down Animal Magnetism in 
the same catalogue of the eccentricities, if not the 
absurdities, of the human mind; and to look upon its 
extension in Rhode Island as the work, if not of cre- 
dulity and imposture, at least of mental excitement, 
sympathy, and delusion. 

Such, in brief, were my views and feelings in re- 
gard to Animal Magnetism, until on or about the 22d 
day of August ultimo, when a letter was placed in 
my hands by a Providence gentleman, from a distin- 
guished prelate in the Episcopal Church, then on a 
visit to that city, inviting my attention to the subject, 
and intimating the writer's belief that were I to in- 
vestigate the phenomena of the magnetic influence 
myself, I might perhaps be more sparing of my sar- 
casms in relation to it. The letter was one of in- 
troduction, and I entered immediately into conversa- 
tion with the bearer upon the subject, of which he 
was full. He confirmed various reports which had 
previously reached me, and also the fact, that the new 
science (I use the word for its convenience, not for 
its correctness,) was seriously engaging the attention 
of men of science and learning in Providence — phy- 
sicians, philosophers, and theologians ; and that the 
results of many experiments were causing it to be 
regarded with grave and increasing interest. He 
likewise related to me a number of facts of a sur- 
prising character, of the truth of which I could not 
entertain a doubt without impeaching the character 

of my informant for veracity. His manner, moreover, 
was such as to convince me that he was sincere in 
what he said. He spoke of a number of patients in 
Providence, under the charge of several physicians, 
who had been subjected to the magnetic treatment, 
with wonderful results. Among these, he told me of 
a blind young lady, upon whom some surprising expe- 
rimentshad been made. Iwasinformed, that, although 
blind, yet, when in a state of magnetic slumber, she 
had been sent to a fancy dry goods store to select 
various articles of merchandize, and that she per- 
formed the service as well as a lady of perfect sight 
would have done it. He also stated to me, that by 
the will of the magnetiser, she would go into a flow- 
er-garden, when asleep, and cull various flowers of 
various hues. It was likewise stated that she had 
read a note sent to her from a distance, under three 
envelopes, and that the contents were sent back to 
the writer, who was at the time unknown, while 
the seals of the envelopes remained unbroken. 
These, and several other extraordinary experiments 
mentioned to me in the course of the interview, could 
not but create a strong desire on my part to investi- 
gate the subject for myself. It happened that I was 
then making preparations to visit some valued friends 
in Providence, and I left New- York with a determi- 
nation, if possible, to see the blind lady, and have 
the evidence of my own senses in regard to the exer- 
cise of this recently revived, and, if true, most won- 
derful influence. 

I arrived in Providence on Saturday, the 26th of 



August ; and my inquiries, which were immediate, 
touching the above-mentioned reports, resulted in the 
confirmation, substantially, of their truth. Of course 
my curiosity was greatly excited, and my anxiety to 
see the young lady increased in a corresponding ra- 
tio. I was informed, moreover, that the subject was 
a young lady of most respectable character, and of 
decided and unaffected piety, — the patient of Doctor 
George Capron, a physician of established reputation, 
and above all the devices and designs of quackery, 
charlatanism, or imposture. The name of the young 
lady is Loraina Brackett, from the town of Dudley, 
Mass. Four years since, as I have learned from her 
friends, particularly from Dr. Capron, she had the 
misfortune to have an iron weight of several pounds 
fall from a considerable elevation on the crown of 
her head. The injury was so severe as to deprive 
her almost of life, and entirely of her reason for se- 
veral months, " during which time she was subject 
to the most violent nervous, and other serious de- 
rangements of the nervous system. From the imme- 
diate effects of this injury she gradually recovered, 
and at the end of the year her general health was 
partially restored." But, notwithstanding this im- 
provement of her bodily health, her eyes were so 
badly affected by this injury as to produce amaurosis, 
a disease of the optic nerves, which threatened total 
blindness. As usual in cases of this disease, the loss 
of sight was very gradual, until, about eighteen 
months since, it was entirely extinguished. " Simul- 
taneously with the loss of sight, she sustained a loss 


of voice, so complete, that for fifteen months she was 
unable to utter a single guttural sound, and could 
only whisper almost inaudible tones." Her case was 
considered hopeless by her friends ; and in May last 
arrangements were made for sending her to the Blind 
School at Boston, under the charge of my valued 
friend, Dr. S. G. Howe, where it was hoped she 
might be qualified for a teacher of the blind. When 
on her way to Boston, in May last, she took Provi- 
dence in her road, for the purpose of visiting some 
friends in that city. It happened that Dr. C apron 
was the physician of one of the families Miss Brack- 
ett was visiting; and having accidentally become ac- 
quainted with her history, and learning that all the 
usual remedies for the deplorable malady under 
which she was laboring had been employed for her 
relief in vain, Dr. C, having some brief experience 
as a magnetiser, and being then engaged in the 
work of investigating its remedial effects, after ex- 
amining her case as a matter of curiosity, proposed 
the magnetic treatment. As you are yourself a 
physician, I need not remind you that amaurosis of- 
ten assumes the paralytic character, and that Ani- 
mal Magnetism has from the first been prescribed by 
the practisers of the art in cases of neurology, and 
especially those of a paralytic character. 

The consent of Miss Brackett and her friends for 
that purpose having been obtained, the practice was 
commenced in the month of May, and has been con- 
tinued daily, with few intermissions, until the present 
time. The results, thus far, in a medical point of 


view, have been the most salutary. Her voice has 
been entirely restored, so that it is clear, and her 
enunciation distinct and agreeable. Her natural 
sight, moreover, to say nothing at present of that mys- 
terious faculty called mental vision, or clairvoyance 
by the French, has been so far recovered from total 
blindness, that she can now distinguish light from 
darkness. She can, when awake, discern objects, 
like shadows ; though she cannot distinguish a man 
from a woman by the dress. 

Such, in brief, was the history of the young lady, 
and the cause and extent of her malady, communi- 
cated to me shortly after my arrival in Providence, 
and more fully by Dr. Capron and others since. I 
was farther informed that the young lady was diffi- 
dent and retiring in her manners, and of delicate and 
sensitive feelings ; and that neither herself, her friends, 
nor her physician, were ambitious of any thing ap- 
proaching to a public exhibition. On the contrary, 
they preferred remaining without public observation. 
I ought here to add, that Miss B. had received a good 
education, previous to the accident which had sub- 
jected her to such painful deprivations, and that her 
friends in Providence sustain characters not only re- 
spectable, but irreproachable. 

Having thus satisfied myself, by information de- 
rived from the most unquestionable authorities, that 
in regard to the case of this young lady the half that 
the facts would warrant had not been told me ; and 
that, however extraordinary might be the appear- 
ances, or however surprising the developements of 


the mysterious principle or influence asserted to ex- 
ist by the magnetisers, yet neither Miss Brackett her- 
self, nor her friends, nor her physician, would be guilty 
of deception, or accessary, directly or indirectly, to 
an imposture, the next step was, if possible, to obtain 
an interview. This object was accomplished at my 
own urgent solicitation, and through the interposition 
of a distinguished literary friend, acquainted with 
the young lady and her protectors. I was entirely 
unacquainted with them all, and was only introduced 
to Doctor Capron on Saturday afternoon, August 
26th. I found him all that he had been described to 
me — an intelligent gentleman, alike above imposture, 
deception, collusion, and quackery. He remarked 
that the friends of Miss Brackett had objected to any 
public exhibition, or any thing like display before 
strangers. However, by his influence, and the exer- 
tions of my friend, an interview for experiment was 
arranged for the then ensuing Monday morning at 10 
o'clock, at which a few of my friends were to be 
present. Meantime I heard other and farther rela- 
tions of the wonderful effects of Magnetic influence 
upon the system, the senses, and the mental faculties, 
not onl> of Miss Brackett, but of other somnambulists 
in Providence and its vicinity, the patients of physi- 
cians of undoubted character. In regard to Miss 
Brackett, I was assured, upon authority not to be 
questioned, that the power of seeing objects not 
present, or rather of transporting herself in imagi- 
nation from one place to another, no matter how 
distant, and of viewing objects and scenes which she 


had never seen or heard described, and giving cor- 
rect accounts of them herself, had been strikingly 
displayed in many instances. One gentleman had 
taken her to Washington, where she accurately de- 
scribed the localities, the Capitol, and the leading 
objects within and around it. Another, some time 
since, had taken her to New- York, and placed her 
in the Park, and conducted her to sundry other 
places. On one occasion, while making her supposed 
voyage, in a steam-boat, she became sea-sick, and 
gave the actual unfeigned symptoms of that nauseat- 
ing disease. In addition to which, Mr. Hopkins, 
the gentleman at whose house she was to meet us, 
took her on the evening of the Sabbath, the day be- 
fore I was to see her, to Saratoga Springs, whence 
he and Mrs. Hopkins had just returned. Mr. H. told 
me on Monday morning that her description of the 
buildings and localities at the Springs was correct ; 
and that when in fancy he took her to the Congress 
fountain, to drink of the water, she dashed it from 
her on tasting, and said she disliked it — suiting the 
muscular action of her features to the expression of 
that dislike. 

With such information in my possession, I deter- 
mined in my own mind upon a course of examination 
which would test the case most thoroughly, and in a 
manner rendering deception, delusion, and imposition 
of every kind, entirely out of the question — even did 
not the excellent character of all the parties afford 
an ample guarantee against any and every attempt 
of the kind. But I kept several of the particular 


tests which I meant to employ entirely within my 
own bosom, not imparting a hint or suggestion of my 
design even to my most intimate friends. 

Agreeably to appointment, we met at the house of 
Mr. Hopkins a few minutes before ten, on Monday 
morning the 28th of August. There were present 
the literary friend already referred to, another cler- 
gyman with his daughter and another young lady ; 
Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins, Mr. Isaac Thurber, another 
gentleman whose name I do not recollect, Doctor 
Capron and myself. The patient was presently 
ushered into the room, and we were all introduced 
to her — passing a few moments in agreeable con- 
versation. I found the young lady of delicate mind 
and manners, modest and diffident. None could 
see without being favorably impressed in her behalf. 
She was, of course, aware of the object of our visit; 
and Dr. Capron soon took a seat near her, and com- 
menced the process of what is called magnetizing. 

I ought before to have remarked, that Dr. Capron 
had previously cautioned me not to expect too great 
things, since it was a matter of uncertainty whether 
the slumber would be profound, and the mind clear ; 
and whether, moreover, she might not become way- 
ward and obstinate, after being thrown into sleep. 
Much depended on the calmness of his own mind 
and the intensity of its fixedness upon the business 
in hand ; much also depended upon the state of mind 
of the patient. 

The process was chiefly by the action of the eyes, 
with some slight manipulations. In these, however, 


there was nothing disagreeable or objectionable, in 
the remotest degree, even to the most refined and 
sensitive mind. In five minutes the patient gave 
signs of drowsiness, and in four minutes more she 
was in a deep and profound slumber — insensible, as 
we ascertained by experiment, alike to the touch and 
the voices of all present, excepting her physician. 
He then told her that he wished her to be in commu- 
nication with all of us, and to converse with all the 
company present who wished to speak with her. On 
the instant she seemed aware that she was in the 
company of several people, and gave indications of 

" I don't like to be looked at in this way by stran- 
gers," she said. 

The Doctor attempted to soothe her, but she ma- 
nifested displeasure, and said she would not stay to 
be thus gazed at by strangers. 

Doctor. " But they are not strangers ; they are 
your friends. You have been introduced to them, 
and after being introduced, people are no longer 

Miss Brackett. " I'll not be looked at in this way ; 
I will leave the room." 

Saying which she rose with offended dignity, and 
walked toward the door. I began now to fear that 
the experiment was ended, and that her obstinacy 
could not be removed. The Doctor, however, took 
her hand, and succeeded in changing her purpose, 
when she walked into the other part of the drawing- 


It was arranged that the first experiments should 
be made for the purpose of eliciting some of the phe- 
nomena of clairvoyance, or mental vision. For this 
purpose an exhibition was made of various prints, 
large and small, likenesses of distinguished persons, 
&c, with which my friend had provided himself from 
his own house. With some of these the front parlor 
was hung, before we entered it from the back room, 
while the smaller prints were thrown upon the cen- 
tre-table. It must here be borne in mind, in the first 
place, what has already been several times remarked, 
that the patient is blind. Her eyelids, moreover, 
were entirely closed ; in addition to which, cotton 
batts were placed over her eyes, and confined by a 
pair of green spectacles. It would, therefore, have 
been impossible for her to see — or rather, any other 
person would have been involved in the deepest 
darkness, with eyes thus closed, and then cotton batts 
over them. 

Soon after going into the room she appeared to 
see the pictures and admire them. This fact was 
tested in every way. From her repugnance to so 
much company, however, the little circle drew as 
much as possible away from her, and her chief con- 
versation on 1 the subject of pictures was held with 
my friend, with whom, both sleeping and waking, 
she had previously been acquainted. Invariably, 
when she studied a picture, she turned her back up- 
on the wall against which it hung. When she took 
up a print to examine it, she held it at the back of her 
head, or rather just over the parietal bone. With 



my friend she conversed freely, and selected from 
the small prints a likeness of Mrs. Judson, whose life 
she said she had read several times. She took up a 
portrait, while standing on the side of the room op- 
posite to my friend and myself, and putting it to the 
side of her head, almost behind, as she remained 
alone, inquired — " Is not this a likeness of John Fos- 
ter 1 — John — Yes, it is John Foster." I immediately 
passed around the table to her, and held a brief con- 
versation with her respecting the character and writ- 
ings of Foster — of whom there had not been a word 
said, before she selected his picture and pronounced 
his name. Her reading of the names on the prints 
was very slow, as she read by lettering, as the free- 
masons call it ; that is, by studying each letter, and 
first repeating it in a whisper, as though to herself. 
But she made no mistakes that were discovered. 
She had an objection to read, arising from an idea, 
if we were looking at the picture with her, that we 
knew as well as she, and that it was idle in us to 
ask her what we could not be ignorant of. If, how- 
ever, she was holding a picture by herself, in a dif- 
ferent part of the room, on asking the question, whose 
likeness she was looking at 1 she would answer cor- 
rectly, as in the case of John Foster. Sometimes 
she would exhibit the simplicity of childhood, as in 
the case of an allegorical print suspended by the 
wall. The Inscription was — " America guided by 
Wisdom." My friend asked her to read it. She re- 
plied, that she would read half of it if he w T ould read 
the other half. She then, after a moment of study, 


read " America guided " — and would read no more; 
insisting, playfully, that the gentleman referred to 
must read the other two words. 

In the early part of this exhibition she suddenly 
exclaimed — " why, who could have put that there 1 
It is no ornament to such a room as this." Saying 
which, she stepped across the carpet, and took down 
a coarsely printed handbill, which had been sus- 
pended among the prints over the mantel-piece, by 
design, but which had not attracted my notice until 
she thus directed the attention of the circle to the 

Having satisfied ourselves of the wonderful powers 
of "vision without the use of visual organs," as ex- 
hibited upon these objects, and of which I have given 
but a brief outline, Dr. Capron, by an exercise of the 
will, withdrew her attention from the whole circle 
to himself, and then gave her a particular introduc- 
tion to me. Leading her to a seat, I sat down by 
her side, and the Doctor transferred her hand into 
mine, and clothed me with the power of enjoying her 
exclusive company. 

I then commenced a conversation with Miss Brack- 
ett, upon ordinary subjects, just as I would have 
done with any strange lady to whom I might be in- 
troduced — talking upon various matters, and she con- 
versing in a sprightly and intelligent manner — inva- 
riably using very correct English. I inquired, both 
of herself and friends, before she was magnetised, 
whether she had ever been in New- York, and was 
assured that she had not. In the course of my re- 


marks, I now asked her whether she would like to 
visit New- York % She replied that she would — " she 
should like to go there very well." I then observed 
that it would afford me pleasure to accompany her, 
and asked — 

" How shall we go 1 Shall we not take the steam- 
boat Narragansett? It is a very fine boat, and now 
lies at the dock." 

She replied she did not like to go in a steamboat. 
It made her sick. This remark was noted as afford- 
ing an illustration of her former ideal voyage, in 
which she actually became sea-sick, as was reported 
to me. 

"How then will you go?" 

" I should like to go through the air." 

" Very well," I replied, — " we will step into a bal- 
loon. That will be a pleasant mode of travelling." 

She did not, however, seem to comprehend what 
was meant by a balloon, and repeated her desire to 
go through the air. I assured her that I would as 
gladly accompany her that way as any other. 

" But you must not let me fall," said she. 

" Oh no," I replied. " I am used to that way of 
travelling, and will bear you up in perfect safety." 

Sa)ing which, she grasped my right hand more 
firmly — took my left hand — and pressed upon both, 
tremulously, as if buoying herself up. I raised my 
hands some ten or twelve inches, very slowly, favor- 
ing the idea that she was ascending. 

" You must keep me up," she said, with a slight 


convulsive, or rather shuddering grasp, as though ap- 
prehensive of a fall. 

" Certainly," I replied, " you need have no fear. 
I am used to these excursions." And away, in ima- 
gination, we sailed. 

* * * * * * 

" There is Bristol !" she exclaimed ; " stop— we 
must look at Bristol. I have been here before. I 
always admired it. What beautiful streets !" 

Very beautiful, indeed," I replied— and we re- 
sumed our aerial voyage. 

" Oh," said she, " how I like to travel in this way 
— it is so easy, and we go so quick." 

" Yes," I answered, " and here we are at New- 
York. Come, we will descend at the north end of 
the Battery." 

She then grasped my hands more closely, and bore 
down exactly as though descending from a height. 

" Safely down," said I. " There is the dock where 
the Providence steam-boat comes in." 

11 Indeed !" she replied ; " but it is not so good a 
place as where they came in before." I have alrea- 
dy stated that she had some time previously made a 
short imaginary visit to New- York, in a steam-boat. 
The places of landing have during the present sea- 
son been changed from Market and Chamber's 
streets to the north end of the Battery. I am un- 
certain, however, whether the change was made be- 
fore or since that voyage, as I forgot to inquire into 
the particulars of that point, although I mentioned 
the fact of the change of the landing-place to the cir- 


cle, and it is possible that her voyage took place be- 
fore the change. 

I now asked her whether she would like to step 
into Castle Garden a few minutes'? She replied 
" yes ;" but immediately asked how we should get 
through the gate 7 I answered that there would be no 
difficulty, as I had a season ticket. " But," said she, 
" I don't like the looks of that man by the gate." I 
told her she need have no fear. He was a constable 
or police officer — they always had somebody of that 
character by the gate — but he knew me very well, 
and would open the gate as soon as we should come 

" There," said she, " I told you we could not get 
the gate open." 

" But," said I, " we can go through the side gate 
here. Come, here we are." 

" It does not seem much like a garden," she said. 

" Very true," I replied. " It was an old fort, which 
has been fitted up as a place of amusement. It is 
here that they get up grand displays of fire-works." 

" I am not fond of fire- works. I never cared about 
seeing them." 

" But they don't get them up in the day-time, and 
only on festival occasions. At other times people 
come here to get fresh air, drink lemonade and 
punch, and smoke segars." 

" Do they allow them to smoke in the garden V 

" It is unfortunately so," I rejoined. 

At this moment she appeared to act cautiously, as 
though experiencing the sensations of stepping upon 


a bridge. I spoke too quickly, and said the bridge 
was perfectly safe, and we would walk along. 

I then observed a smile playing upon her features. 
" What pleases you?" I inquired. " Why," said she, 
" what a queer hat that man has got on." 

" What man V 

" Why, that man, there, with the large round hat, 
like a (Quaker's V 1 

" What sort of a coat has he on, or is it a jacket V 

"It is a round jacket — and look, his hat has a 
round, low crown." 

It instantly occurred to me that she had described 
the dress of the Castle-Garden Boat Club, whose 
boat-house stands at the farther end of the bridge, 
where, also, their boat is moored. There is general- 
ly some one or more of the club at their room ; and 
I doubt not that one of the members was then at the 
club-house, and was seen by Miss Brackett. A 
member of the club, whom I met the same evening, 
asured me that such was their dress, and he believ- 
ed that one of their members must have been there 
at the time. 

On approaching the massive portal of the garden- 
wall, Miss B. drew back, and said she had rather not 
go in. It was no garden, and she did not like to go 
through that gate. 

It will here be remarked that she seemed to have 
seen both the gates, and the bridge — as also the cas- 
tle walls— since it was one of her first observations, 
that she saw nothing like a garden. The misnomer 


of calling such a place a garden, would at once strike 
the attention of any stranger. 

" I choose not to go in," she repeated. 

" Just as you say," I replied; " we will turn about, 
and walk up town ; now we are on the Battery. 
How do you like the trees ?" 

She here gave indications of not understanding 
why the esplanade should be called a Battery. I 
told her the name was derived from an ancient for- 
tress which stood there. " Oh," she replied, " then 
this is the place of the old fort." 

Having lingered a few moments, and the compa- 
nion of my imaginary journey having expressed her 
admiration of the beauty of the place, I proposed con- 
tinuing our walk up Broadway ; to which she as- 


" And here we are by the Bowling-Green," I re- 
marked. " How do you like it V 1 

" It is very pretty." 

"Well ; here is Mr. Ray's house — how do you like 
that r 

" It is a splendid house." 

" On the left hand," said I. 

" No ; on the right hand — but stop," — she said— 
« w hy — there — (smiling,) I was turned round, and 
was walking back down the street. You are right. 
It is on the left hand." 

At this moment her attention appeared to be di- 
vided between two or more objects — one on either 
hand. I inquired what she saw on her right. She 


declined a direct answer, and evaded a reply two or 
three times. She then extended her hands to the 
left, as if curiously examining something by the touch. 
" I saw something like this at Washington," she re- 
marked. [This was during her ideal visit, of which 
I have spoken above, for she has never been there. 
The gentleman making that dreamy visit, however, 
said that her description of some statuary was cor- 
rect.] " It is carved," she continued. And then she 
turned to the object on her right, and I again asked 
what it was. She replied that she did not wish to 
tell me, and I inferred, as did others of the circle, 
that she had descried something that offended her 
delicacy. Then turning to the left, she said— 
« Why — they are " — " They are what 7" I demanded. 
" Why, I am trying to see." " What do they look 
like? Do they resemble lions?" "Yes," she re- 
plied — " they are lions — bronzed lions." I had spo- 
ken the word lions too hastily ; but her own unaided 
discovery that the noble pair of lions dormant guard- 
ing the portals of Mr. Ray's house were of bronze, 
rendered this incident the most striking develope- 
ment in the case, thus far. I then asked her of what 
materials the house was built. She replied, " I will 
feel of it and see," — suiting the action to the word. 
" Why," she continued, " I have seen a house built 
of the same materials in Boston." She was asked 
whether it resembled any building in Providence— 
whether the color resembled the Arcade. " It looks 
like the columns of the Arcade," she replied. Those 



columns are of Eastern granite, and so is the house of 
Mr. Ray. 

We then resumed our walk along Broadway, and 
as we approached Trinity Church, she complained 
of the crowds of people. Presently she was embar- 
rassed in getting along, as if shrinking from the 
crowd, and edging sideways as though jostled by 
the throng. " I never saw people crowd so," she 
remarked. " Why, they run over a body without 
the least care." She was indeed much perplexed to 
go onward, while I was liberal in assurances of pro- 
tection ; telling her that New- York was the grand 
receptacle of people of all nations — and that the im- 
migrants, Irish, Dutch, Swiss, French, Spanish — 
every body — were wont to throng Broadway ; but 
they would not injure her, and we should soon get 
through the multitude. 

Thus we proceeded as far as the Astor House. I 
asked her if she had ever heard of the Astor House 1 
she replied she had not. " Nor of Mr. Astor 1" 
"No." I then gave her an outline of the history of 
that gentleman — how he came to New- York a poor 
immigrant, and seeing a wealthy man building a 
large house in Broadway, mentally resolved one day 
to build a still greater ; how he embarked in the fur 
trade, and in connexion with this point, I introduced 
incidentally the name of Jacob Weber, formerly of 
German Flatts, with whom Mr. Astor was connected, 
in early life, in the Indian fur trade, and whom I had 
once known very well. I repeated to her the well- 
known anecdote which has been related of Weber, 


and perhaps of a dozen others, that in purchasing 
furs of the Indians, he was wont to use his fist for a 
one pound weight, and his foot for two pounds. 

" But that was not just," interrupted Miss Brackett 
— repeating, " It was not just, and I should not think 
they would have prospered." 

"Mr. Astor had nothing to do with that," I conti- 
nued — adding that his life had afforded a fine illus- 
tration of one of the essays of John Foster, whose 
picture she had been examining — that on Decision 
of Character. She was quite interested in the story, 
and we proceeded on our walk. 

" What do you think of this house V I inquired. 

" It is a noble building," she replied. " I should 
like to get a good view of it, but there are so many 
people crowding me, that I cannot stand here." 
" We will then step across the street into the Park," 
said I, " and you can there obtain a fine view. Here 
— we will cross over — now — through the gate — 
there." " Ah," said she, as in imagination I caused 
her to walk into the middle of the Park—" I have 
been here before." She then stopped, and gazed up 
and around, as if taking a deliberate survey of the 
building. "How large!" she exclaimed. I asked 
her how many stories high it was. She counted, in 
a low whisper, yet so distinct that I heard it, " one 

two— three— four— five." I inquired again, that 

she might speak out. But she did not. 

"It is a splendid building," she continued. "I 
should like to go through it. Can we do so 1" 

" Oh yes, certainly," I replied. " I will go through 
with you, with pleasure." 


" But there are so many people there.'' 

" I know them all very well, and there will be no 

I then walked with her to the broad portal, where 
she rather shrunk back. 

" I don't like to go up those stairs, there are so 
many men standing there! Can we not come 
again ?" 

" To be sure we can," was my reply. " It will af- 
ford me much pleasure." 

Now, let any one, at any time of the day, step up 
to the portal of the Astor House, and look up stairs 
to the first floor of the hotel, and say what form of 
expression could convey a more accurate description 
of the entrance to that establishment, and of the 
large groups of men standing there at all hours. 

We then resumed our walk, and I proposed to her 
to call at my own house, near by, to which she ac- 

" We will pass the American Hotel," I continued, 
"and turn to the left, down Park Place. It is a 
pleasant street, and my house is just at the foot of it 
— adjoining the College Green. * * * 
This is the corner, and here we will turn." * * * 

" How do you like that building on the opposite 
corner V I asked. " That is the old Mechanics' Hall." 
She stopped, and looking up, her attention was sud- 
denly arrested by some object of interest. 

" What are you looking at, Miss Brackett ?" I in- 

" I was looking at that carved work," she replied. 


"What is it V 7 

" That is what I am trying to study. They are 
like figures — but you are in such a hurry." 

" Oh no ; you may look as long as you please. 
What do you think it is 1" 

" I am trying to find out its meaning," she answer- 
ed ; " but you hurry me so from one thing to another." 
*.*■#*« Come," said I, after a short 
pause, " shall we walk down the street 1" 

" You are so impatient," said she. " When a gentle- 
man walks with me," she continued, archly, " I don't 
like to have him so impatient." 

The rebuke, my friends assured me, would doubt- 
less have been well deserved, had I actually been 
walking with a lady on the business of sight-seeing 
— for it is but too true that in such matters I am al- 
ways impatient, and in a hurry. But to the point — 
those who are acquainted with the premises we were 
examining, will doubtless recollect the sculptured 
group above the cornice of the Mechanics' Hall, on 
the Park Place front — the figure of Charity dispens- 
ing her favors to several orphan children. It was 
this group that attracted the attention of my somno- 
loquial companion. 

" Can I not come and look at it again V said she, 
and we resumed our walk. * * * * 

" That," said I, " is the College Green." 

" How beautiful !" she exclaimed. " I must go and 
walk there." 

"But will you not step into my house first? It is 

close by." 


" No ; I must take a walk there first. But there is 
nobody there." 

" It is private ground," I replied ; " but the Presi- 
dent of the College is my next door neighbor, and I 
have permission to walk there whenever I please. 
The gate is always open, and we will step in for a 
few minutes." On reaching the foot of the street — 
" There," she exclaimed, with a playful smile, 
" you said the gate was always open, but you see it 
is shut." 

" It is not locked, however," I rejoined, as you 
will see. * * There, you see I have 

opened it. Now, step in, and we will walk around 
the grounds." * * * 

" How do you like the College V " Very well," 
she replied — " but there is nobody in it." " Because 
it is the vacation," said I ; which was the fact. 

I then proceeded, during our walk, to give her a 
brief history of the College— its breaking up at the 
beginning of the war of the Revolution — the harangue 
of Hamilton to the people in front, while his Tory 
preceptor, by that means, was enabled to escape out 
of the back window, &c, &c. ; in all which she was 
much interested. It is proper here to remark, by 
way of explanation, that these conversations and 
episodes were necessary, to entertain her during her 
imaginary walks, for she did not like being hurried ; 
and although it was all ideal, yet Miss Brackett 
wanted as much time as though she were in reality 
performing the exercise. She wished to stop at dif- 
ferent objects as frequently to admire, and to linger 


as long, as though she were actually awake, not 
blind, but clear-sighted — and in New-York. 

" How do you like the trees V I inquired. 

" Very well : but there is one of them which is 
decaying, and should be cut down and taken away." 

I was not aware of this fact, and from my know- 
ledge of the trees, thought she must be in error. 
On examination since my return, however, I find 
that one of the trees, in front of the wing occupied 
by Professor McVickar, has been sadly injured, by be- 
ing barked in several very large places ; and the 
trunk is otherwise diseased. A canvas bandage, 
tarred, has been applied to the trunk, and the trunk 
itself has been smeared with that staple of North 
Carolina merchandize. 

I told her the President of the College lived in the 
first wing. She replied that there was nobody living 
there now — the house being empty. On inquiry, I 
find that she was correct — the house being shut up, 
and the President's family in the country. 

I now proposed to end our walk, and step into my 
house, to which I endeavored to lead her. The 
house is No. 36 Church street — is very peculiar in 
its construction — having no door upon the street — 
the entrance being by an iron gate into a little 
court. There is, on the opposite side of the street, a 
somewhat similar entrance, by a door, into the yard 
of Mr. Douglass, corner of Park Place and Church 
street. As we entered the court, Miss Erackett 
shuddered, and clung to my side. I asked her what 
was the matter. She replied she was afraid of that 


black man in the yard. I reasoned with her against 
any apprehensions of fear, but to no purpose. Mrs. 
Hopkins here remarked that Loraina had always 
been afraid of negroes, and could not bear to be near 
them when well and awake. However, I soon per- 
suaded her to proceed, descend into the basement 
story, in advance of myself, and see what the ser- 
vants were about in the kitchen. She did so, and 
reported on her return, that there were two white 
women, together with a negress, who was engaged 
in cooking something sweet. I asked her whether 
she was certain both the white women were full 
grown, and she answered they were. I inquired 
what they were about, and she said she did not like 
to tell me. I then descended into the kitchen with 
her, and asked her what the black woman had in 
her hand. She said she did not know, but it looked 
like something sweet. I asked her to taste it. She 
said, " No : she could not taste any thing cooked by 
a black woman, because it was not clean." On as- 
suring her that a colored woman, if well washed, 
would be just as clean as a washed white woman, 
she asked for a taste — tried it in her mouth — said it 
was too sweet — and raised her hand to my lips, say- 
ing that I must taste it also. 

It was evident that this was all incorrect as to 
our domestic establishment, and it struck me that she 
had by mistake entered the wrong house. I accord- 
ingly addressed her thus : — 

" Why, Miss Brackett, we have made a mistake, 


and gone into a wrong house. Let us get out as 
quick as possible." 

Taking her thence into the street, I said, " Let us 
cross over — that is my house — how do you like it V 

She replied that it was a very pretty house — she 
liked it much ; but it was a good deal smaller than 
the other. 

" How many stories has it?" 

" Two," was the correct reply. 

" How do you like those windows 7" 

" Oh, they are very beautiful. It would be so 
sweet to sit and look out of those windows on the 

" Now," said I, " let us walk along to the gate, and 
go in. We have been absent in Providence some 
time—I have left Mrs. Stone there — and I want now 
to come suddenly upon them, and see if perhaps they 
are not playing high-life below stairs." 

As we passed along, my companion looked up and 
said : " Why, I should think you might as well cut 
a door through into the street." This would have 
been a more important point, had I not some time 
previously remarked, by accident, that our house had 
no door on the street ; Miss B. might have heard that 
observation, and she might not. 

Arriving at the gate, I again sent her into the 
kitchen in advance, to take the servants by surprise, 
a conceit which seemed to please her. The passage 
into the kitchen from the court, is winding, and she 
entered with the caution of a stranger. he then 
said, as if to the servants, in a loud whisper— " Hist 



the Gentleman has come home — I say, the Gentle- 
man has come." 

Calling her out, I inquired how many servants 
were there. She replied, correctly, two. I inquired 
their ages, and she answered, again correctly, that 
the cook was a woman who seemed to be just past 
middle age, and the other a young girl. In a word, 
she gave very accurate descriptions of the persons of 
two servants who had been left in charge of the house. 
I inquired the age of the smaller ; she said she could 
not tell, but would ask her. She then spoke — " How 
old are you % Is that your mother V* Then turning 
to me, she observed — " She will not answer me." 
She then inquired of the other — " Is that your 
daughter 1 How old is she V Turning to me again, 
she remarked — " Why, she will not answer me ei- 
ther." I inquired what they were doing ? She an- 
swered — " not much of any thing" — which I thought 
not unlikely It being washing day, I asked — " are 
they not washing V* She said, and repeated, they 
were not. I asked what kind of a frock the girl had 
on ? She replied that she could not see clearly — 
the room was rather dark — but she believed it was 
a dark purple sprig. On both of these points she 
was mistaken. The cook teas washing that day, 
and the frock of the girl was blue, with a small light 
flower. It is proper to add, moreover, that there was 
no colored woman, engaged in culinary operations 
or otherwise, at the time in question, in the house 
opposite, where I supposed my companion had en- 
tered by mistake. 


Addressing my fair companion again, I observed 
that we had been long enough in the kitchen, and 
that I had a number of pictures in the drawing-rooms 
above, which I was desirous she should see. We 
therefore ascended through the always dark stair- 
case passage, and entered the drawing-room. I at- 
tempted to direct her attention to several pictures, 
but in her imagination she ran across the room to the 
centre-table, standing in one corner, expressing her 
admiration of the books with which it was covered. 
She glanced at several, speaking of the beautiful 
pictures with which they were filled. With one of 
them she seemed to be most of all pleased. I asked 
her what it was. She replied " 111— illustrations of 
the Bible." I had not thought of the table or books 
until she thus called my attention to them. " I saw 
just such a one the other day," she said, " at Mr. Far- 
ley's in Providence, only the cover of that was brown, 
and this is green." Mrs. Hopkins here informed me that 
it was so— she had seen, at the house of the Rev. 
Mr. Farley, while in the state of magnetic slumber, 
a copy of the work she was now examining, which that 
gentleman, it was ascertained, did actually possess. 
I knew that the Bible Illustrations, with a heap of 
other literary and pictorial volumes, were lying upon 
the table in question, and I knew that we had pos- 
sessed one with a green cover. One of the two, 
however, had been presented to a friend — but of 
which color I knew not. On returning home, I found 
that she was in error with regard to the cover— it 
being brown instead of green. But by the side of 


it, lay the " Gems of Beauty," in green morocco, and 
another Keepsake bound in the same color. 

Having satisfied herself with the books, she next 
turned to the pictures, though not without urging. 
Reaching up her hands, she took down a small paint- 
ing, and asked me to look at it— placing it in my 
hands. I asked her what it was. " Ask me what it 
is !" said she, " when you have it in your own hands, 
and know as well as I !" She would do no such 
thing ! 

I then asked her to examine the painting over the 
side-board. She looked at it for some time, and in 
answer to questions, expressed great pleasure at its 
beauty. But I could not induce her to tell me what 
it was, or describe it, for the avowed reason that I 
was looking at it with her, and it was trifling with 
her to ask such a question. 

Dr. Capron here remarked to the circle, that such 
was her usual course. Whenever she was looking 
at an object with, as she supposed, another person, 
she would not answer questions of this description — • 
believing either that they were not seriously put, or 
that the questioner was quizzing or sporting with 
her. All, therefore, that I could obtain from her, 
with the exception of general expressions of appro- 
bation, was the remark — that she did not like the 
man's coat in the foreground. Here, also, it should 
be noted, that when in the magnetic state she can 
talk only with the person or persons with whom the 
magnetiser has willed that she shall be in communi- 
cation. She can hear nothing addressed to her by 


any one else, nor can she hear the conversation be- 
tween any two individuals, nor even the person with 
whom she is in communication if he directs his speech 
to any but herself. He must speak to her, or she 
hears him not, and only wonders why his lips move, 
and yet that he does not speak.* 

My next experiment was with another picture of 
a very peculiar character. " Miss Brackett," said I, 
" there is a picture in the other room, hanging over 
the couch, which I value highly. I wish you would 
look at it." [I ought before to have remarked, that 
in no instance did I indicate to her what were the sub- 
jects of the pictures ; and of the existence of three of 
them, of which I shall soon speak, and which I de- 
signed to make the principal tests, not a soul in the 
room, as I believe, had any previous knowledge ex- 
cepting myself.] Miss B. thereupon walked into the 
other room — the folding-doors standing open, and look- 
ed with great interest upon the picture I had indicat- 
ed. But although she appeared to inspect it minutely, 

I could elicit no description from her. I told her that 
both the pictures were painted by a young and pro- 
mising artist, a Mr. Hoxie, and I valued them highly. 
He was a young man of great merit, and I would 
take some opportunity of introducing him to her. 

II Where is he ?" she asked ; <: I do not see him." I 

* Statement of Mr. Jesse Metcalf, one of Miss Bracken's friends, contained, 
among other interesting papers, in the Appendix to No. I of Deleuze's Practical 
Illustration of Animal Magnetism, Providence, by R. Cranston & Co. De- 
leuze's work has been translated by Mr. Hartshorne, of Providence, and the col- 
lection of papers in the Appendix embodies a large amount of important facts 
upon the subject, recently developed in that city. 


replied that he was not here now, but I would see 
him soon ; and then attempted again to elicit some- 
thing of a description from her. But she evaded me 
artfully as before. 

Dr. Capron again spoke to me, of which circum- 
stance, however, she was evidently unconscious ; and 
remarked, that when I had proceeded as far as I 
wished, he would come suddenly upon her, as if on 
a visit to New- York, and after taking her from me, 
she would without doubt freely relate to him all that 
had taken place between her and myself. In this 
way I would be abundantly able to form an opinion 
as to the power of the Magnetic influence upon the 
mind, when the body is wrapped in insensible slum- 
ber so profound that the discharge of a park of artil- 
lery would not disturb her. 

There were various other paintings in the drawing- 
rooms, too many for a particular examination within 
the time at our command. Among these were se- 
veral portraits. To one of these, an admirable head 
by Inman, Miss Brackett objected that the coat was 
too old-fashioned, and she wondered they should have 
painted a man in such a coat. The remark as to 
the rather countrified cut of the coat, was correct • 
but she spoke of a quaker coat, as appearing upon 
one of the portraits, which is not there. She was 
asked, if among the portraits there was any one 
which she recognized 7 She replied that there was 
one gentleman whom she thought she had once seen 
in Providence. It was the portrait of one of my in- 
timate friends who was of the party, and to whom 


she had been introduced in the morning ; by Fro- 

I now asked Miss Brackett to walk with me into 
the library— a small apartment built purposely for 
that object, and in a degree separate from the main 
body of the house. I told her that I had some pic- 
tures in that room, to which I wished particularly to 
invite her attention — giving her, however, not the 
slightest intimation as to the character of the pic- 
tures. On entering the library, " this," said I, " is 
my den — my literary work-shop— where I can shut 
myself up, and be as secluded as I please. I built it 
on purpose." " Oh," said she, " it is a nice little place 
—I should like to shut myself up here too ; come, 
you go out, and leave me alone — I want to read these 
books. But," she continued, " if you built this on 
purpose, why did you not make it wider while you 
were about it ? It is so long and narrow, and so 
c l 0S e — it wants some air." Now, these are exactly 
the criticisms upon my private " den," made by all 
my waking friends ; for it so happens, that, in its con- 
struction, having but a small lot, I made a sad mis- 
calculation as to the width of the room. 

I explained the matter to her, and told her I would 
leave her with the books as long as she pleased af- 
ter we had looked at the pictures. I then asked her 
to look at the upper painting above the fire-place. 
Now, I must remark in this place, that that was a 
picture which I had recently purchased, and which 
had only been sent home on the preceding Tuesday 
or Wednesday. No person in the room, excepting 


myself, knew of its existence. She looked at the 
picture, and became instantly pensive. Presently 
her bosom heaved with sighs. I asked her what she 
thought of it. She said she did not like to look at it 
any more. I then requested her to look at the pic- 
ture below. She did so, and in a moment was ab- 
sorbed with curious interest. But, as before, she 
would not describe it to me, farther than to say it 
was the portrait of a dark colored man ; but she 
brought her hand round her head, as much as to say 
there was something peculiar about the head. I 
then again directed her attention to the upper pic- 
ture. She immediately became pensive, and affected 
as before. The experiment was repeated several 
times, until, in contemplating the upper picture, she 
sobbed and wept. " Well," said I, " if that picture 
affects you so much, Miss Brackett, you need look at 
it no more. I have here a picture, in this drawer, 
which I prize highly, and will show it you." Saying 
which, I opened the drawer, and handed her the pic- 
ture. She (in imagination, of course,) took the pic- 
ture, and observed in a whisper, as if talking to her- 
self, u oh, it's a miniature." I asked her what she 
thought of it ? She replied it was very beautiful — 
but would not describe it, for the reasons I have al- 
ready several times mentioned. 

I now requested Dr. Capron to take her from me, 
and resume his sway over her for the purpose of the 
suggested cross-examination through him as to what 
she had seen. He took her by the hand, and the fol- 
lowing scene ensued : — 


"Ah, Loraina, are you here ?" 

" Why, Doctor, how do you do 1 When did you 
come from Providence V 1 

" 1 have just arrived." 

" I am glad to see you." 

" And I am very glad to see you. When did you 
come to New- York V 1 

I forget the reply to this question. The conversa- 
tion, however, was upon the common topics which 
would be naturally suggested by an actual meeting 
of friends, under the circumstances imagined. The 
Doctor continued : 

" How have you been engaged since you came to 
New- York ? Have you seen any thing ?" 

" Oh yes. Mr. Stone has been taking a walk with 
me, and shown me a great many things." She then 
informed him, in answer to questions, of her walk 
through Broadway — mentioned the lions — the Astor 
House — and other matters, not necessary to be re- 
peated for the purpose of this narrative. Doctor Ca- 
pron continued : 

" Well, Loraina, when Mr. Stone was in Provi- 
dence, a few days since, he spoke to me of some pic- 
tures which he prizes highly. Did you see any of 

"Oh yes. I went to his house and saw a great 
many. I took down one, and handed it to him ; and, 
what do you think 1 — he wanted me to tell him what 
it was, when he had it in his own hands ! — but I 
wouldn't, — he pestered me with so many questions !" 

I here suggested to the Doctor, that he should ask 



her whether she saw a fruit piece. He did so. " Oh 
yes," was the reply. " That was the very picture I 
took down and wouldn't tell him what it was." 

This was correct. From what I could gather, 
when she began examining the paintings, I supposed 
she referred to a beautiful fruit piece by Ward, of 

The Doctor continued — " Mr. Stone told me there 
was a painting over the side-board — what kind of a 
picture was that 7" 

"It was a lake, with mountains around it. I 
thought it very beautiful." 

Such is the fact. The picture is a charming moun- 
tain landscape, the scene being a beautiful lake 
among the Catskill mountains, by Hoxie. 

" Well, what other pictures did you see 1 What 
is that picture which Mr. Stone told me was hanging 
over the settee V 

" Oh, it was a curious picture. It represents three 
Indians sitting in a hollow tree, which looks as 
though it had been dug out on purpose. And the 
tree is filled with marks." [Hieroglyphics.] 

This was the most wonderful reply we had had 
yet. The picture is a composition landscape, by 
Hoxie, containing the portrait of the decaying trunk 
of an enormous sycamore tree, standing in the neigh- 
borhood of Montezuma, N. Y. The artist has intro- 
duced a group of three Indians, and has likewise 
traced a number of hieroglyphics within the open 
trunk. These hieroglyphics are seldom noticed by 
visitors, unless specially pointed out. And yet this 


blind lady, with bandaged eyes, who had never been 
in New- York, nor heard a whisper of the existence 
of the picture, had discovered them ! The fact seems 
not only incredible, but absolutely impossible. But, 
as I believe, it is nevertheless true. 

" Did you notice particularly any other pictures ? 
Mr. Stone told me he had several in his library, upon 
which he set a high value. Did you see them ?" 
" Yes." 

" What were they 1" 

Here she again became affected, as she replied — 
" One of them was Christ in his agony, with a 
Crown of Thorns !" 

This reply was astounding. The picture is an ad- 
mirable copy of the Ecce Homo by Guido. It had 
only been sent home a week before, and I had cau- 
tiously avoided mentioning it to my most intimate 
friends present at this extraordinary interview, until 
she thus proclaimed it. 

" What other picture did you see in the library V 
" There was a portrait of an Indian Chief." 
This was another wonderful reply. The picture 
is an admirable copy, by Catlin, of a capital portrait 
of Brant, the great Mohawk Warrior, which has 
recently been procured, to be engraved for the forth- 
coming life of that celebrated chieftain. 
" How was he dressed ?" 

" Why, I can hardly describe it. His head was 
shaved, and I don't know exactly whether there was 
any hair left on or not. There was something on 
the top, but I could scarcely tell whether it was hair." 


This description was very accurate. The knot on 
the crown is the scalp-lock ; and the war-paint around 
it, and something like a ribbon tying it, would ren- 
der it doubtful to a superficial observer, unacquainted 
with Indian customs and costumes, whether there 
was any hair there or not. 

" Was there no other picture in the library 1" 

" Oh yes : he took out of a drawer, a miniature." 

" Did it resemble the large picture 1" 

11 I thought it did, somewhat." 

[I believe I had put this question to her when she 
was under my control.] 

" How was it dressed V 

" It was a very handsome picture, and had a cap 
and plumes." 

This was another wonderful reply. The picture 
in question is a very beautiful miniature likeness of 
Brant, composed by N. Rogers, from two pictures of 
the chief, taken when he was a young man, and first 
in London — in his court dress. The picture is de- 
signed to embellish the forthcoming work referred 
to, and lies yet in the drawer, where it was seen and 
» described by Miss Brackett — blind — previously un- 
conscious of its existence — and two hundred miles 
off when she saw it. 

The Doctor now transferred the somnoloquist 
back to me. Taking her hand again, quick as a flash 
we were restored to the place and position occupied 
at the moment of the Doctor's intervention. I re- 
sumed the conversation, by asking her if she had ever 
heard of Wall-street V ' She replied that she had not. 


" You have heard of the great fire in New- York V 

" Yes." 

" Would you like to take a walk down there, and 
see how it has been rebuilt, and where they are build- 
ing the new Exchange 7" 

" I should like to go there very much." 

The imaginary walk was immediately commenc- 
ed. " Here," said I, " is Trinity Church — the oldest 
in the city. Perhaps you would like to take a look 
into it V 

She replied that it would afford her pleasure to do 
so — adding, " but I guess you will be obliged to get 
the doors open before we get in." I told her the sex- 
ton would open them at once. " Come," I added, 
" I will open the gate, — and there, — you see the doors 
are opened." 

The moment she had crossed the threshold, and 
arrived at the inner door, she paused, and looking 
half round, smiled, and, as it were, bit her lip. 

" What attracts your particular attention now, Miss 

" I was looking at these awkward pews. I never 
saw such inconvenient pews." 

" What is the difficulty with them 1" 

" Why, how they look !" 

" But the richest people in New- York attend 
Church here." 

" Then I should advise them to tear away these 
old pews, and build new and better ones." 

Now, it happens to be a fact, that the pews in this 


church are just the worst looking, and most incon- 
venient, in the city. 

" How do you like the pulpit V 

" I think it wants new drapery ; only see how old 
it looks. The cushion where they lay the Bible is 
quite threadbare." 

I have examined these draperies since my return, 
and should advise the vestry of that church to take 
the hint of the somnoloquist. The cushion is not ex- 
actly " thread-bare," but the drapery of both the pul- 
pit and the desk needs renewal. 

I asked her to look beyond the pulpit, and exa- 
mine the sculpture. She did so, and was deeply in- 
terested. But she did not describe it. I asked her 
which figure she liked best? She answered the 
standing figure. I inquired whether she understood 
the design of the figure 1 She said she did. I am 
not certain whether I told her that it was a monu- 
mental structure, but I think I did say that the stand- 
ing figure was a personification of Religion. How- 
ever, she gave no evidence that she fully compre- 
hended the work. I asked her how she liked the 
lights behind 1 She replied very well, and added 
that she had never seen the light let in in that way 

On leaving the church, I suddenly remarked — 
" why, Miss Brackett, after all, I omitted one thing 
at my house, which I very much desire you should 
see. In our little basement room — the little snugge- 
ry where we breakfast — I have two pictures — one 
very curious, which you must see. Will you walk 


back with me, and look at it V She replied in the 
affirmative, and I immediately added—" well, here 
we are." "That's likely," said she, playfully— 
" you have got there before I have started !" " Very 
true," said I, " but I will come back and walk with 
y 0U ." * * * " Now, Miss Brackett, 

we are here at all events." 

" And is this your family breakfast-room 1" 

" It is." 

" It is a nice little place." 

" Now, Miss Brackett, look at that picture, and 
tell me what you think of it." 

She looked and began to smile, and was evidently 
much amused. But, as before, she would give me 
no description of either. Doctor Capron here ob- 
served to me, that if I charged her particularly to 
remember what she saw, she would do so, and tell 
me about it when awake. I then remarked—" If 
you will not tell me now, will you be careful to re- 
member what you see — what pleases you so — and 
tell me afterward V She promised faithfully that 

she would. 

We had now been occupied nearly four hours, and 
my engagements were such as to render it necessary 
to bring my travels with this most interesting com- 
panion to a close. I therefore proposed returning to 
Providence, to which she assented. 

" How will you go V I asked. 

" We will fly." 

(i Very well — I am used to that mode of travel- 
lino-." Clasping both my hands in hers, she went 


through the same process of ascending into the air 
by my assistance, as before. 

" Oh, how beautiful it is," she exclaimed, " to look 
down upon the city. How vast — how grand !" Lin- 
gering a moment, as if hovering over the town, I di- 
rected her attention to several objects — the land and 
the water. " That dark mass of buildings is the 
Bellevue Alms House. That high column is the 
Shot-Tower — it is the highest structure on the isl- 

" And we are so much above that !" she inter- 

"Ah, here we have New-Haven." 

u How beautiful !" she exclaimed. " Stop, I must 
look at that. It is very beautiful." 

" And this is New London — How are you pleased 
with if?" 

" I don't like its appearance very well." 

" Nor does any body else," I replied. 

" And here we are in Providence," I continued. I 
then assisted her in descending, as from the first flight, 
and asked her how she had been pleased with her 
visit to New- York 1 She replied that she had been 
exceedingly gratified — that she liked the route home 
very much, as it was one she had never travelled 

Dr. Capron now again willed her away from me, 
resumed his control, and by the peculiar mental pro- 
cess of Animal Magnetism, together with a few 
brushes of his hand over her forehead, awoke her. 
She at first complained of being somewhat confused ; 


but in the course of one or two minutes resumed her 
self-possession, and was as cheerful, and intelligent, 
and diffident, withal, as before she had been magnet- 
ised. The Doctor had charged her to remember the 
circumstances of her visit, and he now questioned 
her respecting several incidents heretofore detailed 
at large. Among others, he inquired again what was 
the particular object that had attracted her atten- 
tion, and seemed to annoy her, at the Bowling-Green 
opposite the lions 1 She blushed to the eyes, and said 
she must be excused from answering. 

He then asked her what was the picture in the 
basement-room of my house, which seemed to please 
her so much 1 

She laughed outright, as she replied — " It was a 
funny looking fellow pulling a cat's ear." 

This was another remarkable answer, affording a 
still farther and most striking illustration of the mys- 
terious power of this potent though unknown prin- 
ciple. The picture in question is an old and admi- 
rable painting, recently purchased by my friend, the 
Rev. J. C. Brigham, and loaned to me. It had but just 
been returned from the hands of the picture-framer, 
and had not yet been hung in the drawing-room. 
Its existence, I am perfectly confident, was unknown 
to any of the party present except myself; and the 
subject, that of a sly, mischievous fellow, full of wick- 
ed laughter, as he is teazing some antiquated lady by 
pulling or pinching the ears of her favorite tabby ! 

Such were the results of this extraordinary inter- 
view, and such the actual phenomena attending a 



single nap of magnetic slumber, under circumstances 
where every thing like ostentation, or a desire of dis- 
play, or even of a private exhibition, was avoided ; 
and where, I repeat without hesitation, deception, 
fraud, collusion, misunderstanding, and mistake, were 
alike utterly impossible. I have written fully and 
faithfully, omitting, as I believe, nothing essential to 
a full illustration of the interview — preserving so 
much of the very language used, as a practised and 
pretty retentive memory has enabled me to recall — 
giving the substance, where the identical language 
is lost — and presenting a simple and unadorned nar- 
rative of the truth throughout. 

In the early part of this communication I have ad- 
verted to the extraordinary power of this young la- 
dy — blind though she be — of reading, while in the 
magnetic slumber, letters within several envelopes, 
without breaking the seals. This was a point to 
which I likewise directed my attention, and circum- 
stances occurred most opportunely to favor my de- 
sign. On Sunday, Aug. 27th, while I was in Provi- 
dence, and the day before my interview with Miss 
Brackett, a small package was received by Mr. Isaac 
Thurber from Mr. Stephen Covell, of Troy, contain- 
ing, as he wrote to his friend, a note, which he wish- 
ed Miss B. to read while under the magnetic influ- 
ence, without breaking the seal, if she could. Mr. 
Covell had been induced to try this experiment, in 
consequence of having heard of extraordinary per- 
formances of the kind, which, of course, he doubted. 
The package, or letter, was evidently composed of 


several envelopes. The outer one consisted of 
thick blue paper. On Sunday evening Miss B. was 
put into a magnetic slumber, and the letter given her 
with instructions to read it. She said she would take 
it to bed with her and read it before morning.* On 
Monday morning, she gave the reading as follows : — 


I made a memorandum of this reading, and exa- 
mined the package containing, as she said, the sen- 
tence. She said then, viz. on Monday morning, that 
there were one or two words between the word " en- 
velopement " and the date, as I understood her, which 
she could not make out. I examined the seal with 
the closest scrutiny. It was unbroken, and to open 
the letter or to read it without opening, with human 
eyes, was impossible. After my return to the city, 
viz. on Wednesday, Aug. 30th. I addressed a letter 
to Mr. Covell, to ascertain whether the reading of the 
blind somnambulist was correct. The following is 
his reply : 

" TROY, September 1, 1837. 

" Dear Sir, 

" Your's of yesterday I received by this morning's 
mail, and as to your inquiry relative to the package 
submitted to Miss B. while under the magnetic influ- 

* So I understood the matter at the time of the interview. By a statement of 
Mr. Thurber himself, however, contained in the publication of Mr. Hartshorne, 
it appears that the clairvoyante did not take it to bed with her, but retired into a 
dark room to make it out, from choice, and read it to Mr. Hopkins and a num- 
ber of others, on her return. 


ence, I have to say the package came to hand yes- 
terday. The sentence had heen written by a friend, 
and sealed by Mm at my request, and in such a man- 
ner as was supposed could not have been read by 
any human device without breaking the seal. We 
think the seals have not been broken until returned. 
The sentence as read by Miss B. is : — " No other than 
the eye of Omnipotence can read this in this envelope- 
ment — 1837." And as written in the original, on a 
card, and another card placed on the face of the 
writing, and enclosed in a thick blue paper, was : — 
" No other than the eye of Omnipotence can read this 
sentence in this envelope. — Troy, New- York, Aug. 

" Respectfully yours, &c. 

" William L. Stone, Esq." 

I also left a note, hastily prepared, for the blind 
lady to read, the contents of which were known only 
to myself. It was carefully folded, so as to preclude 
the possibility of reading it, by the natural sight, 
without opening, and sealed with seven wafers and 
two seals of wax, with my own private signet. By 
the mail of the following Saturday I received the 
letter ; the seals were unbroken, and exactly in the 
condition I had left them, with the answer written on 
the outside, in the hand-writing of the friend who had 
assisted me in obtaining the interview, which answer 
is correct, as far as it goes. I have already remarked, 
that I was in great haste at the time of preparing the 


note, yet I was determined to leave something so 
much out of the ordinary track as to puzzle the lady 
if possible. Accordingly, having the odd title of a 
queer old book in my pocket, printed in a small Italic 
letter, I wrote a part of the note with a pencil, and 
stuck on two and a half lines of the small Italic print- 
ing, with a wafer. The note, written and printed, as 

I left it, was in these words : — 

" The following is the title, equally quaint and 
" amusing, of a book which was published in Eng- 
land in the time of Oliver Cromwell : — l Eggs of 
" Charity, layed by the Chickens of the Covenant, and 
" boiled by the icaters of Divine love. Take ye and 

II eat: " 

I subjoin the answer sent by Miss B. through an 
intimate friend: — 

"The following is a title, equally amazing (or 
" amusing) and quaint, of a book published in Eng- 
" land in the time of Oliver Cromwell : — 

" Eggs of Charity"— 

" Miss B. does not know whether the word is 
" amazing or amusing. Something is written after 
" the ' eggs of charity,' which she cannot make out." 

Why the clairvoyante did not read the whole note 
as readily as she did the part which she did read, I 
am at a loss to give an opinion. On a minute exami- 
nation of the paper, I find that, accidentally, in fold- 
ing it, there was one thickness of paper over the lines 
which she did not read, more than over a portion of 
what she did read. But the same additional thick- 
ness of paper was over the first line which she did 


read, and the two thick wax seals, and a number of 
wafer seals also, intervened over nearly the whole. 
Those seals were strong and deep impressions of my 
family crest, with the motto distinctly shown ; and 
the whole returned to me so perfect, and in every re- 
spect entire, as at once to put at rest every suspicion 
of foul play, had such suspicion been entertained. 

I am perfectly aware, my dear Sir, that in allow- 
ing the preceding statement, which is no more than 
a simple and unadorned narrative of facts, to go forth 
to the world, I am setting myself up as a target at 
which scores of witlings and brisk fools will be sure 
to let fly successive showers of arrows. Indeed, I 
have already been assailed, from various quarters, 
through the public journals, and in the conversations 
of individuals, in consequence of a recent and very 
partial and imperfect publication, announcing my vi- 
sit to Providence and the experiments of the sealed 
letters. The " Chronicle of the Church," published 
at New-Haven, has arraigned me with grave severi- 
ty as a convert to " humbuggery and mystification," 
and as an easy dupe in respect to transactions " bear- 
ing upon their face the impress of gross imposition." 
Other journalists have freely applied the phrase, 
more expressive by far than elegant, that I have been 
" outrageously humbugged." Others, again, have 
plied me alternately with raillery and grave rebuke. 
Well — be it so. However well stored may be their 
quivers, and however thick and fast their missiles 
may hurtle through the air, I should feel myself but 
a sorry knight of the quill, to complain at receiving 


back a small portion of the change of which I have 
dispensed so much, though I should be pierced like 
another St. Sebastian. If I am correctly informed, 
the editor of the Church Chronicle will soon find a 
far abler exponent of the mysterious principle the 
existence of which he decries, than I can ever hope 
to be, in the Bishop of his own diocese. Still, whe- 
ther that distinguished prelate should take the field 
or not, the facts recorded in this communication will 
remain the same. Meantime your own reading must 
have taught you, that neither theories nor principles 
are the less philosophical or the less true, because of 
unbelief or ridicule. The original projector of the 
employment of steam for the movement of machine- 
ry, was denounced as a lunatic for the suggestion, 
and confined as a madman for persistence in his folly. 
Galileo was twice imprisoned in the dungeons of the 
Inquisition, by the learned doctors of Rome, for op- 
posing the astronomical theories of Aristotle, and as- 
serting, with Copernicus, that the sun remains sta- 
tionary in the centre of the universe, while the earth 
revolves around it in annual and diurnal motions. 
And in your own profession, you cannot be ignorant 
of the persecution of Harvey, the great medical revo- 
lutionist, who discovered the circulation of the blood ; 
or of the fact that Jenner was at first denounced as 
a quack, for a discovery which has constituted him 
one of the greatest benefactors of modern times. 

Mistake me not as citing these illustrious names 
with a view of inscribing my own in the same cate- 
gory. My object is merely to show, that scepticism, in 


regard even to the most valuable discoveries, is no new 
thing under the sun ; and that satire, however biting, 
and ridicule, however pungent, although they may 
deter the timid from the avowal of an honest opi- 
nion until the world shall have decided for them, or 
raise a laugh at the expense of those who march in 
advance of the public voice, are nevertheless no 
test of the soundness of a theory, the value of a dis- 
covery, or the correctness of a principle. " What I 
know to be true, that will I declare ; and what I feel 
it to be my duty to represent, that will I have the 
boldness to publish ;" was a memorable manifesto of 
the late Timothy Pickering when about to make cer- 
tain political revelations ; and I know nothing to de- 
ter the exercise of a like degree of moral courage, in 
giving utterance to facts connected with the philoso- 
phy of the human mind, involving the phenomena of 
ordinary sleep, dreaming, and somnambulism, — the 
independence of our spiritual nature of the bodily or- 
gans which subserve the purposes of the present life, 
— and, in one word, eliciting new and enlarged views 
of the perceptive faculties of the mind and the na- 
ture of the soul. 

Were it my desire to enlarge upon this subject, or 
rather, were it not my design to confine the present 
communication strictly to a narrative of facts trans- 
piring under my own eyes, I might easily fill a hun- 
dred pages more with incidents and illustrations of 
the most surprising character, which have occurred 
at Providence and in its vicinity within the last few 
months, in the course of the experiments that have 


been made — as well attested, too, as the battle of 
Bunker Hill or the Declaration of Independence. 
These facts might be gathered by hundreds, from the 
most authentic sources — arising, not from two or 
three cases of nervous, debilitated, and practised fe- 
males, nor under the auspices of one, or even two, 
magnetisers, — but in the course of hundreds of ex- 
periments, upon as many subjects, of different ages 
and sexes, under the care of gentlemen of the first 
character — lay and professional . One example only, 
of the many to which I refer, will be added at the 
close of this communication. The case was very re- 
markable, and the circumstances created a deep sen- 
sation when they transpired in Providence — support- 
ed, as they were, by the testimony of so able and ex- 
emplary a physician as Dr. Brownell. 

In regard to the imputation, that a gross imposture 
has been played off upon me, I will not detain you 
by its refutation. I have already said, repeatedly, 
that the character of all the parties to the interview 
forbids the idea of fraud, collusion, or imposture. It 
surely will not be contended that I shall prove what 
I saw and assisted in performing. The strongest evi- 
dence possible, and the most convincing to an indi- 
vidual, is that of his own senses. " When awake, 
and in our perfect mind," says Dr. Beattie, " we ne- 
ver mistake a reality for a dream. Realities are per- 
ceived intuitively. We cannot prove by argument, 
that we are now awake, for we know of nothing 
more evident to prove it by ; and it is essential to 
every proof to be clearer than that which is to be 



proved."* I will not, therefore, distrust the evidence 
of my own senses, where all the circumstances were 
such as to render deception impossible. The weight 
of other testimony depends upon the character of the 
witnesses for truth and veracity, and their means of 
knowledge of the facts related, and their exemption 
from such interests and motives as might sway them 
from the truth. These are the important attributes 
of evidence ; and witnesses sustaining such a charac- 
ter, are entitled to full credit. Such was the charac- 
ter of the parties with whom I was in communica- 
tion during my visit to Miss Brackett. What I saw, 
I know to be true ; and what was told to me as truth 
by Dr. Capron, Miss Brackett, and those of her 
friends with whom I conversed, I as fully believe. 

There are those who disbelieve in the principle of 
Animal Magnetism altogether, and who would not 
believe though one rose from the dead. They con- 
tend that the whole thing is morally and physically 
impossible. There are others who are incredulous 
because the experiments are not attended by uniform 
success. Such is, doubtless, the fact, as the magneti- 
sers admit, for causes assigned which are abundantly 
sufficient. There is yet another class, who are not 
only disbelievers themselves, but are determined that 
the science shall not prevail. These, instead of act- 
ing like ingenuous searchers after truth, attend the 
exhibitions for the express purpose of defeating the 
operations, by interposing obstacles, embarrassing 

* Elements of Moral Science, Sec. viii. §. 156. 


alike to the magnetiser and the subject. In order 
to a successful experiment, perfect composure and 
tranquility of mind, in both magnetiser and sub- 
ject, are understood to be necessary, if not absolutely 
indispensable. If, then, objectors and sceptics visit 
an exhibition for the express purpose of passing off 
deceptions upon the illustrators of the principle, — 
intentionally distracting their attention and inter- 
rupting their mental operations — the want of success 
under such circumstances is no argument against the 
science ; and only proves that the objectors are no 
gentlemen. Again, there are those who fear to be- 
lieve, lest an argument shall be derived from the ad- 
mitted existence of the magnetic influence, against 
the miracles sustaining the divine origin of the Chris- 
tian religion; whereas, in my apprehension, the 
very reverse is the fact ; since, if testimony like that 
to which I have referred, is to be rejected, where are 
we to look for the proof of those very miracles'? Would 
not the sceptic, by the adoption of such a rule, bring 
himself upon the identical ground assumed by Hume, 
who disbelieves all the evidence of miracles, upon 
the principle that we cannot believe any thing con- 
trary to our own experience 1 I am aware, however, 
that others think differently. Indeed, an intimate 
friend of my own, on reading the preceding narrative, 
observed to me, " Were I to believe in the reality of 
what you have written, I should become an infidel." 
Now, the scruples of such are doubtless to be respect- 
ed. But I must repeat, I can perceive no good foun- 
dation for them. " How common," says Knight, in his 


W ayward Criticisms, " when we have just spoken and 
thought of a person, to see him immediately afterward. 
If it be even more than casualty, is it unphilosophical 
to suppose that there may be a certain attractive, 
although invisible emanation, not unlike that of the 
magnetic, electric, gravid, or cohesive influence ; each 
emanation being peculiar to, and characteristic of, 
each individual, coming from the body into the air, 
which prompts the forethought?" And is it any more 
unphilosophical to believe in the activity of the hu- 
man soul during the suspension of the external senses 
by that species of slumber, equally peculiar and pro- 
found, produced by the magnetical influence, the ex- 
istence of which, to a greater or less degree, I take 
it for granted can no longer be denied by any one 1 
We know that somnambulism, or the faculty of loco- 
motion, of speaking, of holding conversations with 
others, and even of sustaining an argument, does ex- 
ist. Of this fact, the Rev. Mr. Finney, whom you 
probably know, affords a striking example. Why, 
then, should we deny the possibility of the unusual 
physiological phenomena attributed to the influences 
of Animal Magnetism, acting upon persons of pe- 
culiar nervous susceptibilities 1 Why deny to the soul 
the faculty of recognizing external objects through 
unusual ways, without the help of the senses, and of 
annihilating time and space in its movements ? Or 
why deny to the etherial spirit, when in such a state, 
the power of visiting, in its imagination, other climes 
and other spheres, for its amusement, its wonder, or 
its instruction 1 Is it more wonderful than the trance 


of Tennant, whose spirit, without controversy, did 
thus leave its tenement of clay, and behold things 
more glorious than that holy man dared to describe ? 
But I am transcending the purpose of this communi- 
cation, and will forbear. 

After all, my dear Sir, I am not without apprehen- 
sion that you may yet inquire of me, what is my own 
belief upon the subject? The question would be a 
poser. I cannot deny the evidence of my own sen- 
ses, and therefore I must believe in something. But 
how much to believe, or what, I am puzzled to tell. 
Fraud, deception, imposture, I once more repeat, in 
the matters I have related, were entirely out of the 
question. On the whole, therefore, I must end as I 
began, by quoting the sage conclusion of Hamlet, al- 
beit his brains were zig-zag, that there are more 
things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in 
our philosophy. 

I am, with respect, &c. &c. 


To Doct. Amariah Brigham, M. D. 


It was the purpose of the author, in presenting a second edition 
of the preceding letter to the public, to record a few additional 
facts, connected with this interesting subject, equally wonderful, 
and in some respects even more so, than those already de- 
tailed. A brief reply to some of the criticisms that have 
been made upon this pamphlet by a portion of the daily 
press, had also been meditated. But the first edition, of two 
thousand, has gone off so rapidly, and the demand for the second 
is so pressing, that the design has in both respects been relinquish- 
ed. One only of the criticisms referred to will the author stop to 
correct. The editor of the American, in his. liberal notice of the 
first edition, seems to suppose that the only subjects of the mag- 
netic influence are females. This, in the full extent of the posi- 
tion, is an error. It is doubtless true, that, as a general rule, the 
female system is more susceptible of this mysterious influence 
than the male. But such is not uniformly the case. Several in- 
stances have occurred in Rhode Island, particularly in Pawtucket, 
in which robust men have been effectually magnetized. The 
operator at Pawtucket is Mr. Daniel Green, a man of respectabil- 
ity, who, from what I can learn, is capable of exercising a greater 
magnetic power than any other gentleman who has yet attempted 
an experiment. I can also state, that, on the evening of Tuesday, 
the 3d day of October instant, Mr. Grant, of Providence, then and 
now giving experiments in the city of Albany, put a healthy young 
man into a profound slumber, in the midst of a crowded auditory, 
and contrary to his own counteracting efforts. 1 was in Albany at 
the time. The Governor, and several Senators and other distinguish- 
ed gentlemen, were present. The young man was a sceptic upon the 


subject, and challenged the operator to a trial of his power, which, 
in ten minutes, was not only irresistible, but so powerful, that the 
subject was, in the end, thrown into convulsions. The experiment 
was not only convincing to himself, but, as I happen to know, to 
several gentlemen of education and character, who were unbe- 
lievers when they went to the exhibition. 

Several very striking illustrations of somnambulism and clairvoy- 
ance, or clear-sightedness, when in a state of magnetic slumber, were 
also given at Albany on the same, and also the preceding evening. 
Among them was an imaginary journey, performed by the niece of 
Mr. Grant, in company with one of the Senators, to visit his own 
family at the place of their temporary residence, (Norwich, Con.) 
The house in which his family were lodged is very peculiar in its 
construction, having, among other eccentricities of architecture, 
three front doors, all of which were exactly described, with various 
other features and circumstances, and in the absence of leading 

Another very striking case occurred at Saratoga Springs, at 
which place Messrs. Grant and Potter were experimenting last 
week. A gentleman, an entire stranger, came into the room, and 
asked the magnetized lady to visit his house in Pittsburgh. She 
did so — described the place — the house — its apartments and furni- 
ture, not only with general, but very minute accuracy. Among 
other inmates of the family, she astounded the gentleman by 
describing his aged father-in-law, who has but one arm ! Collusion 
or imposture, in this case, was entirely out of the question, and 
the fact cannot be contradicted. 

I am in possession of a variety of other surprising facts, but 
have not yet permission to publish them with that particularity 
which I could desire. Meantime I beg leave to introduce the fol- 
lowing article from the Boston Morning Herald, of September 
29th ; premising that I was in Providence at the time of the visit 
of the two medical gentlemen referred to from Boston, and have 
no doubt, from what I learned on the spot, of the essential accu- 
racy of the statement here given. The statement of Miss Brack- 
et's ideal visit to the hall of the Franklin Society was also re- 


lated to me in Providence, in a such a manner as to leave no 
doubt of its substantial truth : — 

" Animal Magnetism. — Strong and Incontrovertible Testimony ! — Many- 
may think that enough has been said upon this disputed subject, and turn away 
in disgust from any further discussion ; especially will those be apt so to think, 
who, on account of the apparent absurdity of the matter, pronounce it to be a 
complete humbug, and consider themselves insulted, to have conversation or 
written argument upon it thrust into their faces. So was our decision once — 
but while we cannot believe so strange a theory until we have had the demon- 
stration of our own senses to its truth, we are forced, by the weight of incon- 
trovertible testimony, to be silent and refrain from scoffing, until the ' perfect 
day ' of the revelation of its existence or falsehood shall dawn upon us. 

We present the following new facts to the public, and our readers may be- 
lieve or not. We will only say, that when it comes to bold denial of a sup- 
posed honest man's assertion, argument is useless — but to those who are not 
willing to think that a man who has ever proved himself true, will at once 
falsify, the following relation will at least surprise, for what we have to say is 
reduced to this — Will you believe our witness or not 1 

We hope we are not taking an unwarrantable liberty in mentioning the 
name of the individual, from whom the particulars below given are derived. 
Since the subject is an all-important one, a solemn one if it be true, an exciting 
one at any rate, we feel confident that he will be willing to have his testimony 
held up, a light set on a hill, as a guide to the searchers of the truth. We refer 
to Rev. Mr. Hall of Providence. 

A short time since, two physicians of this city, Drs. J. & W., went to 
Providence, in order, by their own senses, to be convinced. They have re- 
turned, not fully satisfied. They are confident of some strange effect produced 
— of the existence of the magnetic sleep— but were not able to content them- 
selves in respect to the wonderful magnetic vision of distant or concealed ob- 
jects. We will state the assigned cause. 

The patient is Miss Brackett of Providence, who is, and has been long, to- 
tally blind — of course, unless there is actual communication with her, to inform 
her of the existence or position of the objects or places she describes, her testi- 
mony is of the very strongest nature — it is adamant proof. The examination 
took place in the house of Rev. Mr. Hall. 

Previous to questioning the patient, Mr. Hall took the physicians into aback 
parlor, in which were no chairs, and disarranged some articles, one of which 
was, to take a picture down from the wall, and lay it with its face on the table. 
The three gentlemen then returned to the room in which Miss Brackett, who 
had been magnetised, was sleeping. One of the physicians first questioned 
her, but almost at the outset, he said, after going with her in spirit into the 
room, — ' Take care, or you will stumble over the chairs and beds.' The other 
physician then went with her to some house or other in a distant town, and 
said — ' Be careful, or you will hit your head against the gate ;' and he could 
not make her speak after. Now the case is, taking the premises for granted that 
' such things are,' those who are sleeping are, in their perceptions, in reality 
standing with you beside an object which you wish them to describe — and it is 
often an answer to inquiries, ' What do you ask for — you can see as well as I 
can.' It is evident, then, that much caution and tact must be exercised to pro- 
cure the necessary information. No trifling will be submitted to— and there- 
fore it was, when the physicians referred to articles which they knew were not 
there, that the patient became offended. 

The physicians having retired, Mr. Hall, Miss B. being still in her sleep, led 
her inspirit, into the back room again, and after asking her what she saw, she 
mentioned, among the first things, ' a picture lying on the table on its face'— 
and added, ' I will speak with you, Mr. Hall, for you treat me properly, but I 


would not have any thing to say to that other gentleman, for he laughed at me. 
He knew as well as I, that there were no chairs or beds in the room!' 

From another occasion, Mr. Hall furnishes .;till stronger testimony. There 
is, in Providence, a room, occupied by the Franklin Society. This Society is 
a private one, with few members, and but few know of the occupancy of the 
room. In it are sundry matters, such as a case of stuffed birds, a stuffed cat, 
gray squirrel, &c, a preserved turtle, and other curiosities of the like kind. 
Mr. Hall went to the room, unlocked it, took some lamps from the stove, which 
was in the centre of the room, and placed on it the turtle — and then returned, 
locking the door, and putting the key in his pocket. He then, without com- 
munication with mortal being, went directly to Miss Brackett, whom he had 
requested previously to have magnetised, turned the magnetiser from the room, 
and went with the patient, of course in spirit, to the room of the Society. As 
soon as they were in the room, the patient started. ' Why do you start V asked 
Mr. Hall. ' Why, don't you see, look on the stove there in the centre of the 
room. It will bite me !' ' Bite 1 — go closer — it won't bite.' She then seemed to 
smile at discovering the foolishness of her fears. 'What is it V asked Mr. 
Hall. ' You can see as well as I,' was her answer. ' Yes — but I wish to know 
what you call it. Is it ever eaten"? ' Yes— a part of it — in soup.' 'Well, 
what do you call it V ' A turtle, to be sure !' 

Mr. Hall then led her to the bird case, and asked her what she saw. She re- 
turned much the same answer as before — but said, evidently taking down the 
birds and looking at them—' How pretty this is. What a bright ring round its 
neck ! Oh, here is a dear little bird !' 

She soon started again. ' What is the matter now V asked Mr. Hall. 
' Why,' said she, ' only sec that cat— that's a pretty place to put a cat, in the 
midst of birds !' . . 

' Oh,' said she, ' here is something in the corner like a rabbit. What is it 1 
Mr. Hall had not observed it when in the room, and could not answer. He 
left her, convinced that if there was any thing there, he should feel satisfied — 
if not, all was uncertainty again. He hurried to the room, unlocked it, and 
went in, and found in one corner, a stuffed grey squirrel ! 

W6 present the above to the consideration of the public. Of Mr. Hall s ve- 
racity there can be no doubt. What disposal then is to be made of it "? Time 
alone can reveal the end." 

The following statement, also related to me as a fact in Provi- 
dence, has since been published by Dr. Hartshorn, of that city, 
on the authority of Mr. Benjamin Cozzens and Mr. Joseph 
Balch, Jun. : — 

" A child, about nine years of age, attending the school of Miss S***, in this 
city, was, about a month -ago, during an intermission, found to be sleep in the 
school-room. One of the young scholars came and gave information. Miss 
S*** and others tried to rouse her, but not succeeding, they became alarmed. 
A young medical student, a son of Commodore John Orde Creighton, being 
called in. soon perceived that she was in a magnetic sleep. A little girl about 
ten years old immediately burst into tears. It was evident that she had done 
it • but she was so much terrified at the result of the mischief, that Miss S*** 
called her into another room, soothed her distress, and told her she need not be 
frightened ; she had only to go to Anne, and ask her to wake up. This was 
done. She merely spoke to her, and she came out of her magnetic state, with 
that smile upon her visage which is peculiar to those who are gently roused 

from it. -,ii- 

The child had been, once 'before, and only once, put into the somnambulic 
state. It was effected in about five minutes, by a lady who had never before 
tried her hand at this business." 



In a preceding page of this Postcript, I have referred to some 
still more recent illustrations of these phenomena, the particulars of 
which I am not at liberty to record, although of a very striking 
character. The truth is, there is a lamentable want of moral cou- 
rage in the community, which prevents gentlemen from admitting 
facts, which from their own positive knowledge they know to be 
such, lest they should encounter the ridicule, and the small wit 
of the little minds which control but too large a portion of the 
public press. I am not to be thus deterred, however, from speak- 
ing out upon this, or any other subject, by the taunts, or the sneers, 
of any one. All I ask is fair play — and this I expect to receive 
from all controversialists who are gentlemen. When editors and 
critics are so stupid as to misunderstand what is said, or so mali- 
cious and unprincipled as to misquote and misrepresent an an- 
tagonist, there is no dealing with such. Nothing is easier than to 
assume a position for an author whom it is wished to assail, which 
he has never assumed, and then to overthrow it. Nothing is 
easier than to assert for an antagonist what he has never asserted, 
and then refute the assertion. And of course it is equally easy to 
hold a man up to ridicule, for language or opinions he has never 
uttered. All this treatment I have received from the stupid malice 
of the Journal of Commerce, the vapid loquacity of the Express 
and the ill-natured perversions of a writer in the Courier and En- 
quirer. While these sheets are passing through the press, how- 
ever, a more sensible and respectful writer has appeared in the 
Journal of Commerce, whom it may be well to set right upon his 
main objection to my original narrative. He says : — 

" The cat's ears and other things which after a great deal of 
effort Miss B. was induced to mention in Col. Stone's picture, 
were probably only the reflection of the description he had given 
of them in her presence ; but in the full conviction that she could 
hear no conversation except that addressed to herself, and that so 
the circumstance was of no consequence in the story." 

Some other critics have assumed the same position — which 
shows either that they have not read my letter with attention, or 
that they purposely misrepresent me. I have said, expressly, that 
in regard to the examination of three of those pictures, which I 


had reserved as the principal tests, I had held no conversa- 
tion with either or any of the party present at the examination. 
In regard to the Ecce Homo of Guido, and the portrait of Brant, 
and also of the cat, I was particularly careful that not a soul should 
know of their existence, but myself, until the somnambulist de- 
scribed them. 

A few words more : Since this second edition was put to press, I 
have been present at two private exhibitions of somnambulism by 
Mrs. Andros, from Providence. One of them was on Friday night 
last. It was at about nine o'clock in the evening, that a clerical 
friend called at my residence, in behalf of another friend, who is 
a physician, and who has been in great distress for many months 
past, by a grievous nervous affection. His object was, to ascer- 
tain whether there be any virtue in animal magnetism, as assert- 
ed by its professors, for a disease like his. I called immediately 
with the gentleman who came with the message, upon Mr. and 
Mrs. Andros. The latter was thrown into apparent sleep, where- 
upon I requested her to visit my sick friend, and describe his 
case— telling her that neither of us knew the number of the house. 
Mr. Andros here remarked that that would make no difference. 
And it was even so. She went in imagination to the house— de- 
scribed its exterior correctly— but did not describe correctly the 
next house adjoining. I asked her to enter. She did so, and 
described the stair-way exactly, although I attempted to mislead 
her upon that subject. I then asked her to walk into the drawing- 
room. This I supposed to be entirely unfurnished, as it was naked 
when I had last seen it. I asked her to say what was in the 
room. She replied— a pier-table, centre-table, chairs, a portrait, and 
a very beautiful carpet. I then told Mr. Andros that his wife was 
entirely wrong. My friend, however, said he believed they were 
putting in the furniture the day before. Mrs. Andros was positive, 
particularly in regard to the carpet. She was right as to that 
article, and wrong as to the others. She then ascended the 
stairs, entered the sickroom, and described the situation, the pecu- 
liar disease, and the extraordinary sufferings of my sick friend 
with -reat minuteness, much emotion, and surprising accuracy. 
She was wrong, however, in saying that he was sitting up in a 


cushioned chair, he being at the time on the bed, as I have since 

One case more : On Monday morning, the 9th of October in- 
stant, Mr. Andros called, and requested me to meet my* friend Dr. 
C***** at his rooms, at 12 o'clock. A few minutes after he had 
gone, Dr. C***** himself called, and renewed the request. He 
told me, with great emphasis, that I was the victim of imposition 
— that it was all nonsense — that there was no reality in this new 
system of Animal Magnetism — and assured me, that if I would go 
with him, in ten minutes he would prove to me that it was quackery 
and moonshine. His object, he said, was to take her upon an 
ideal visit to a patient of his, a few miles in the country. The 
case, he added, was so marked and extraordinary, that there could 
be no mistake upon the subject. Under these circumstances I 
made the visit. The Doctor was particularly careful not to in- 
dicate to any one the nature of the case or the location. There 
were present at the trial, four gentlemen besides the Doctor, 
Mrs. Andros, and myself. Mrs. A. having been magnetised, Dr. 
C. took her hand, and for the first time mentioned the village in 
which the patient resided whom he wished to visit. But he gave 
no intimation as to the location of the house, the sex of the pa- 
tient, or the character of the disease. In less than five minutes 
the somnambulist said she was there. Her description of the ex- 
terior of the house, however, was at first incorrect ; but substan- 
tially correct as to the interior ; and afterward, on a re-examina- 
tion of the premises, she described the house with general accuracy. 
But this was not the main feature of the experiment, which was 
the description of the case itself. And in this, which involved a 
complication of the disease of scrofula, embracing a large tumor upon 
one side, severe lameness, the contraction of a limb, Sfc. Sec, the 
Doctor frankly declared that she astounded him by describing it as 
well as he could have done it himself. In the afternoon I visited 
the patient with Dr. C*****, and had ocular demonstration of the 
truth of the description of Mrs. Andros. Here, again, was a case 
where collusion, fraud, and imposition were out of the question. 
And here, too, it is to be particularly noted, that there was an 
entire absence of leading questions. On the contrary, in order to 


avoid the possibility of collusion, Dr. C***** had given Mr. An- 
dros in the morning to understand that his patient was in a differ- 
ent village, lying in a different direction ; and while Mrs. Andros 
was describing the case, he endeavored to mislead her as to the 
seats of the several strong and unequivocal developements of the 
disease. I leave it with the public. 


New-York, Oct. 10, 1837. 


In answer to the objection raised by many others, as well as the 
editor of the American, that females alone are used as subjects of 
the magnetic influence, I have two very recent, and very strong 
cases, in addition to those referred to in the preceding postscript. 
One of these cases occurred in Albany, after my departure from 
that city last week. It was at a select meeting of a few gentle- 
men and ladies, for the purpose of seeing a few private experiments 
by Messrs. Grant and Potter. Several senators were present, one 
of whom, Mr. Spraker, of Montgomery, was magnetised soundly to 
sleep, and the experiment was repeated, on a subsequent day, with 
the same success. 

Another case has occurred in this city, as can be proved by tes- 
timony of the first character, in which a gentleman was magnetised 
into a profound slumber by another gentleman, who is an amateur 
only-not a professed magnetiser. The subject in this case was 
also a somnambulist-visiting various places and private rooms in 
the city, and describing fixtures and furniture with great accuracy. 
He then made an imaginary voyage to France, spoke a ship at 
sea, described the passengers, &c.-visited Paris, and described 
many places and things with entire and wonderful correctness, 
according to the testimony of a Paris gentleman who was present. 
The subject in this case shrinks sensitively from notoriety in the 
matter, or I would go more into particulars. 


I am also in the possession of some very remarkable facts elicited 
at another experiment — transpiring at Providence the day after 
my adventure with Miss Brackett, at an interview between a dis- 
tinguished clergyman of the Episcopal Church and the somnolo- 
quial patient of Dr. Brownell — a lady whom I have never seen. 
The lady having been thrown into a state of magnetic slumber, 
was transported, in the imagination, to a distant city, the residence 
of the clergyman. He took her to the church of which he is the 
rector. After a surprisingly correct description of the interior of 
the church, on opening a closet in the vestry-room, she exclaimed — 
" Here are three dresses — one black and two white." These were 
a clerical gown and two surplices, which always hung there when 
not in use. Upon being asked whether nothing else was in the clo- 
set, she answered, " Yes — there is a basket." This the clergyman 
was confident was a mistake, as he had no recollection of such an 
article ; on his return home, however, he had an examination, and 
found that on the spot which she had named as the location of a 
basket, stood a demijohn of communion wine. Its neck was so 
covered by the skirt of one of the surplices, that it resembled a 
basket much more than it did a demijohn. 

Again ; there are several vaults adjacent to the church. Into 
a particular one of these the patient was requested to descend and 
examine its contents. She did so, and immediately began 
weeping. Upon being asked the cause, she stated that she was 
looking on the coffins of five children. The clergyman, and he 
alone, was aware that five children had been buried there, and were 
its sole occupants. In her description of the church, and the fur- 
niture of his own house, although there were some errors, the gene- 
ral accuracy of the statements were such as to convince him, that, 
at least, there was something extraordinary in the principle of 
Animal Magnetism. 

So I believe. But I also believe that experiments and illustra- 
tions are, and ever will be, very fallible and uncertain. I am also 
convinced, that all public exhibitions are not only improper, but 
more liable to prove entire failures, than experiments made in a 
private social circle. In order to a fair and successful experiment 
there should be an absence of all excitement, on the part both of 


the magnetiser and the subject. Perfect calmness and tranquillity 
should reign in the apartment ; and even then, the chances are 
more than even, that an experiment will be comparatively unsuc- 
cessful. But the results are sometimes wonderful, beyond the ken 
of man to fathom or comprehend. 

W. L. S. 
New. York, Oct. 16, 1837. 


No. I. 

The following statements are copied from the Appendix to Hartshorne's recent 
edition of Deleuze. The extraordinary medical case occurred under the 
eye and care of Dr. Brovvnell of Providence, the Somnambulist being another 
lady — not Miss Brackett. Its strict truth cannot be questioned : — 

In order to prove whether a somnambulist can really visit a place where he has 
never before been, and describe the present appearance of things there, the Rev. 
E. B. Hall went, without the knowledge of any one, into the room in which the 
Franklin Society deposit their curious collection, and disarranged several con- 
spicuous articles. He then went to confer with a young woman who resides at 
the distance of half a mile from the house occupied by the Franklin Society, and 
she being in the magnetic state, he sent her into it in spirit without informing 
her of the disarrangement he had made. She had previously been sent there in 
the same state, so that she knew immediately what alterations had been made, 
and stated them so satisfactorily as to establish the fact investigated. This is 
only one out of many proofs which might be adduced to the same effect. 

Still the suspicion very naturally remained, that the somnambulist derives all 
his notions from the mind of the person in communication, which, though it be 
an astounding circumstance, would induce us to view the subject in an entirely 
different light. To try this, I one day put an old spike into a gun-barrel, and 
placed it about four or five feet from my writing desk against the wall. I then 
sent a note to Dr. Brownell, who was then with one of his patients in the som- 
nambulic state, requesting him to ask her what was in a gun-barrel lying on 
my desk. The lad who carried the note did not know its contents, and did 
not go into the house, but came back immediately : in about thirty minutes, 
a line came from Dr. Brownell, stating that there was no gun-barrel on my 
desk ; but that there was one leaning against the wall a short distance from it. 
Other facts affording similar proofs are abundant. It is proper to state that the 
gun-barrel had probably never been in the room before. 

A still more interesting proof is exhibited in the following relation ; which, I 
am authorized to say, is true in all its important facts, and is known to have 
created a great sensation at the time. Fortunately the witnesses are gentle- 
men of high standing and of scientific attainments, whose words are the cur- 
rency of truth. The relation is extracted from a long and interesting article in 
the Salem Gazette. 

"Dr. Brownell, of Providence, operated upon a young lady, who, during 
the period of magnetic sleep, frequently left the body, and could see and hear 
without the aid of eyes or ears. She could tell correctly the time by a watch, 
though enveloped in a cloth, and at the same time having a bandage over her 
eyes. The doctor had a patient, sick, as was believed, of the liver complaint, 
and bade the girl, who was sitting near him, go (in spirit) to the man's house. 
Arrived, she, at the doctor's request, described the house that there might be no 
mistake, and then entered. What do you see? asked Dr. B. ' A man sick.' 
Now I want you to tell me what ails him. First look at his head : is that 


well ? « Yes.' How do you know ? Do you mean to say that you see 
the internal organization ? ' Yes.' Is the liver, heart, &c. well ? ' Yes ; it 
looks just the same as yours, or anybody's else.' Well, do you see any thing 
wrong? 'Yes, there is an enlargement of the spleen.' Several questions 
were then put to confuse her, and also to ascertain if she knew what the spleen 
was, and where situated ; to all which she gave satisfactory replies. Still the 
doctor was incredulous. But now comes the proof. In four days the man died, 
and Dr. B. having obtained permission to institute a post-mortem examination, 
called on every physician in the city, and narrated the story of the girl. In 
presence of several of them the body was subsequently opened, when, to their 
surprise, the girl was right — all that ailed the man was an enlargement of the 

What shall we say to this fact? It is substantiated beyond the possibility of 
a doubt, as may be learned by any one passing through Providence. Shall we 
set it down among the list of curious coincidences, or admit that the girl ac- 
tually possessed a supernatural sense of vision, and that for the time being, her 
immortal spirit, released from the body, roved freely and at the will of the 
operator ? 

As in the state of vision, the fact is no more strange, than in the well-attested 
case of the famed Springfield somnambulist. Now, if we admit that the soul in 
this case saw without the aid of eyes, why not admit that, in certain states of 
the nervous system, other senses or faculties of the mind may also act independent- 
ly of their material organs ? We know the soul thus exists after death, and why 
not in the state of temporary death caused by animal magnetism ? What know 
we of the nature of that deathless spark within us? And if we allow that it 
may, without the body, enter the next room, we cannot deny the possibility that 
it may in the same manner annihilate time and space, and travel hundreds of 
miles as easily and as quickly as it can so many feet. 

But some say, we cannot believe that God has given such a dangerous power 
to the human will. It is out of the common order of nature ; it is a miracle j 
we cannot believe it. But who can set bounds to the dominion of the human 
will. Man — before the steady gaze of whose eye the forest king trembles and 
flees ; whose power extends to the huge dwellers in ocean's unfathomed infi- 
nite ; man — at whose nod the giant oak, which for centuries has braved hea- 
ven's thunderbolts, falls prostrate, and rises again in beauty to adorn his mansion ; 
who lays his will upon the everlasting rock and it becomes as wax; whose high- 
way is earth, and air, and ocean ; whose servant is the lightning ; whose intel- 
lect spans earth and encircles heaven — thinking, reasoning, godlike man — who 
can set bounds to the untried power of his mysterious will ? W ho say to it, ' thus 
far shalt thou come and no farther?' 

Now, though in the above-mentioned cases, our will operates through more 
tangible means, the facts, were they not so common, are as wonderful as the al- 
leged fact that this same mighty agent operating through the nervous system, pro- 
duces all the wonders of animal magnetism. If actual experiment demonstrates 
the fact, fools may laugh but wise men believe ; and believing, bow down and 
adore with deeper reverence that Great Being from whose almighty will these 
millions of human wills emanated." 

On reading this communication," say Mr. Hartshorne, " which nearly accord- 
ed with whan had heard stated, I conversed with Dr. B., who is one of our 
oldest physicians, and asked him whether the statement there made was cor- 
rect. He replied that it was, in substance ; but some of the particulars were 
imperfectly stated. He gave me the following account. 

The patient lived more than a quarter of a mile from my house. I requested 
a somnambulist, then at my house, to see if she could find such a man, at the 
same time pointing out to her the situation of the house, which was not in sight 
from the room where we continued all the time. She saw him. On being asked 
in what room, she replied, in the third room back from the street. She was then 
requested to describe the situation of the furniture in it, in order to discover 



whether she had got into the right place, and whether her clairvoyance might be 
trusted to at that time ; she described it very exactly. 

I then told her my patient had been sick a long time, and desired her to exa- 
mine him, and tell what the disease was. 

She said, " He looks so bad, I do not like to do it." I replied, " Never mind 
that ; it looks bad to you, because you have not been accustomed to looking at 
the interior of a body." 

As I supposed him to be affected with a diseased liver, and with indigestion 
arising from a diseased state of the stomach, I asked her to look at the stomach 
to see if that was diseased ; she answered, " No." 

Is the liver diseased ? " No." 

Well, examine the whole intestinal canal, and see if there is any disease there. 
" I do not see any," said she. 

Examine the kidneys. " Nothing is the matter with them." 

Not knowing what other part to call her attention to, I requested her to look 
at every part of him. 

After some little time, she says, " His spleen is swelled ; it is enlarged." 

His spleen ! said I ; when we speak of a person who is spleeny, we suppose 
he has an imaginary complaint. What do you mean ? 

She said, " The part called the spleen, is enlarged." 

How do you know it is enlarged ? 

" It is a great deal larger than yours." 

Do you see mine? "Yes." 

How large is his spleen ? 

" It is a great deal longer and thicker than your hand." 

I then asked her to put her hand where the spleen is situated. She imme- 
diately placed her hand over the region of the spleen. 

I then asked her what shape the stomach was : she replied that it was like a 
flower in the garden. I was not acquainted with that flower, and do not recol- 
lect the name she gave to it. 

I then requested her to recollect all about this, saying I wished to talk with 
her about it when she awoke. 

After she came out of the somnambulic state, she was asked whether she re- 
membered having examined the sick person. She remembered it. 

What part did you tell me was diseased ? After a little consideration, she 
replied, " I believe I told you the spleen is enlarged." 

How came you to call it the spleen? 

"I do not know." 

Did you ever hear any description of the internal organs, or see any plates of 
them? "No." 

Should vou know the plate representing the stomach, if you were to see it? 

"I think I should if it looked like ir." 

I will go into the library and bring out some plates, to see whether you know 
the internal organs. 

While I was gone into the library, she said to a lady present, " Every once in 
a while I saw fluids pass from his stomach into his bowels." 

On returning with the volume of plates, in order to ascertain whether she 
really distinguished the different organs, I showed her a plate somewhat resem- 
bling the stomach, and asked her if that was what she saw for the stomach ? 
She said, " No." Turning to several plates in succession, she declared that 
neither of them resembled the stomach. 

Then turning to the true plate, as if accidentally, while throwing open the 
leaves, intending to pass it by unless she noticed it, she immediately cried out 
" That's it ; that's what I saw for the stomach." 

I then conversed with her in relation to the other viscera ; and she gave a very 
correct description of them, as she had done in her sleep. 1 asked her if she had 
conversed upon the subject, or seen any plates of the internal organs. She de- 
clared she never had. 


Seven days after this, the patient was taken more seriously ill, and died on 
Saturday, the third day following. 

On Monday, a. post-mortem examination took place ; previous to which I invit- 
ed all the physicians whom I could find in the city. 

Eighteen persons were present, of whom sixteen were physicians. 

I then stated all the particulars of the examination by the somnambulic patient ; 
and requested the physicians to examine the body to see if they could discover 
the diseased spleen from external examination. They, with one voice, declared 
they could not. 

I then opened the body, and, to the utter astonishment of the physicians pre- 
sent, found the spleen so enlarged as to weigh fifty-seven ounces. Its usual 
weight is from four to six ounces. 

No other disease was perceptible except a general inflammation, which, no 
doubt, came on about three days before his death. 

No. II. 

In regard to the power of Mr. Green, of Pawtucket, mentioned 
in the Postscript a few pages back, the following correspondence 
between Doctors Hartshorn and Webb, of Providence, is taken 
from the Appendix of Hartshorn's edition of Deleuze : — 

" Providence, August 25th, 1837. 
Sir,— In the Practical Instruction in Animal Magnetism, which I am now 

Sublishing in English, the author mentions the power that some magnetizers 
ave of paralyzing the limbs of a patient in the magnetic state. But the in- 
stance which you recently related to me is so much more extraordinary, that I 
wish to obtain from you in writing, a statement of the facts in relation to it, 
with permission to make use of it in a note. I shall esteem it a valuable addi- 
tion to the authentic matter to be embraced in the Appendix of each number of 

that work. Yours, respectfully, 

tnatwoiK. , i T c HARTSH0 RN. 

Dr. Thomas H. Webb." 

" Providence, September 1, 1837. 

Dear Sir,— My time has been so much occupied of late, as to have rendered 
it impossible for me, until the present moment, to reply to your note of the 25th 
ult., and even now I am so circumstanced as to be unable to do more than 
write a very brief reply. 

In conversation with Mr. Daniel Greene, of Pawtucket, who, as you proba- 
bly well know, is the most powerful, as he has been the most extensive, mag- 
netizer in this country, I inquired if he were able to magnetize and thereby 
obtain control over a single limb, whilst the rest of the body remained in a natu- 
ral state. He said that he had done it, in the case of Miss J., with whom you 
are acquainted, and would attempt it on another patient that we were going to 
see that afternoon, if reminded of it. . 

The individual alluded to had never been magnetized but three times, and did 
not present a very striking exemplification of the usual magnetic phenomena. 
After trying various experiments that consumed several hours, we left the house, 
having forgotten the subject matter of my interrogatory. But upon recollecting 


it, we returned, and the patient reseated herself upon being requested so to do, 
without any reason being given her for making the request. 

Mr. Greene then went through the usual manipulations some dozen or twenty 
times, confining them to the space reaching from the top of the left shoulder, to 
the extremities of the fingers on the same side. He afterwards requested her to 
raise the left hand to the head. She said she could not. There was evidently 
a powerful effort made to do this, as was shown by the working of the muscles 
inserted into the upper portion of the shoulder ; but the limb remained power- 
less and motionless, not obeying the dictates of the owner's will. She was ask- 
ed to raise her right arm to the head, which was done promptly, and with perfect 
ease and freedom. Again she was directed to stretch out the left hand, but un~ 
availingly. It was completely paralyzed; devoid of motion and of sensation. 
I gave it a severe pinch, nipping with the thumb and finger, as hard as I deem- 
ed it prudent to, leaving deep impressions with my nails. Upon inquiring if it 
did not hurt her, she, with an incredulous smile, observed, that I had not done 
any thing to her. I then, without saying any thing, pinched, in the same man- 
ner, though less severely, the other hand, when she drew back from me with a 
sudden start, and complained that I hurt her. The arm, to one lifting it, was a 
perfect dead weight. I poised it on my fingers, and Mr. G. restored it ; and there 
was a very marked difference in it and about it, as it passed from the magnetic 
to the natural state. 

To a person not acquainted with the magnetizer, magnetizee, and the gentle- 
men present, there will of course appear nothing conclusive upon the subject of 
magnetism in what is here detailed; but to those of us who had previously ex- 
amined other patients, and satisfied ourselves of the existence of a power by 
means of which, to a certain extent, one individual may obtain mental mastery 
over another, the experiment was satisfactory. 

Should a suitable opportunity hereafter present, I may furnish you with a 
statement of some singular cases which I have witnessed. In the meantime I 

Yours, &c. 

Mr. Thomas C. Hartshorn. 


Erratum. — First line, page 29, dele the words — "they are like figures." My 
impression is strong that Miss B. said something equivalent, if not those words ; 
but on reflection 1 cannot recall the exact phrase she used.